Situated at the edge of the Ohio Street Beach next to the Near North Community and the Navy Pier, Jane Addams Park offers 4.31 acres of quiet beauty. The park’s namesake is Jane Addams, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner who created Hull House. Hull House was the country’s first settlement house, located on the Near West Side in a poor immigrant neighborhood.
Chicago created a municipal pier between 1914 and 1916, but it was soon put to use as a naval training site during World War I. It was renamed Navy Pier in 1927, and in 1959, the Chicago Park District acquired Navy Pier Park. In 1996, the park was redesignated to Jane Addams Memorial Park. Addams work provided much-needed social services and opportunities to Chicago’s struggling immigrants. Addams promoted legal reform, as well, and succeeded in created the first juvenile-court law and the eight-hour work day for women.
“Helping Hands,” a six-piece sculpture honoring Jane Addams was originally installed here. Sadly, the sculpture by Louise Bourgeois was moved after the works were vandalized. Today, it serves as a monument at the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens.
Jane Addams Memorial Park Features
Although the Helping Hands sculpture is no longer present, the park is home to the Jane Addams Memorial Natural Area. Here, visitors fine .23 acres of native prairie plantings.
Visitors can also cool off with a Frutalia Italian Ice, offered from 11am to 5:30pm daily at a stand in the park.
Enjoy a great view of the lake, or rent a bike from Divvy or Bike and Roll. The park is a popular location for dog walkers and Chicagoans looking for a tranquil moment.
Jane Addams Memorial Park Events
The park does not host any structured programming or events. Visitors are invited to head to the nearby Lake Shore Park, where they can use the outdoor track and spacious fitness center.