Washington Park

Located 8 Miles South of The Loop.

Neighborhoods include: Wahington Park, Fuller Park
Zip Codes Include: 60609, 60615, 60621, 60637

Washington Park gets its name from the and neighborhood. It includes the 372 acre park named Washington Park, stretching east-west from Cottage Grove Avenue to the Dan Ryan Expressway, and north-south from 63rd Street to 51st. It is home to the DuSable Museum of African American History. The park was the proposed site of the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Aquatics Center in Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Including the park, the community area hosts two listings on the National Register of Historic Places. The Washington Park neighborhood has been the setting for works of popular literature. James T. Farrell’s Studs Lonigan trilogy is set in Washington Park. In Richard Wright’s novel Native Son, Bigger Thomas drives the drunken Jan Erlone and Mary Dalton around Washington Park, as the two embrace. In addition to hosting the DuSable Museum, the park hosts Fountain of Time, the world’s earliest concrete finished art work.

In the mid-to-late 19th century, a large number of Irish and German railroad workers and meatpackers made Washington Park home. There was a sprinkling of African American residents in the working-class district south of Garfield Boulevard/55th Street. Affluent American-born European Americans settled the wide north-south avenues that provided a direct route into the Loop 7 miles (11 km) to the north. Cable cars, The Chicago ‘L’ and wide boulevards contributed to late 19th century prosperity. The wide avenues, especially Grand Boulevard (now named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Drive), provided popular locations for mansions and grand apartments built by many wealthy Chicagoans.

The park in this community area was named for President George Washington in 1880. In the 1920s, the University of Chicago created the community area system of city subdivision with the current names that continue to be used today. The community areas although not formally adopted by the United States Census Bureau are largely consistent with census tract boundaries. The Washington Park community area and its census tracts have been unchanged.

The play Raisin in the Sun was inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s time in the neighborhood after her father won the repeal of restrictive covenants. The Hansberry house, the red brick three-flat at 6140 S. Rhodes which they bought in 1937, is up for landmark status before the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Historical Landmarks Preservation


The Washington Park area has 3 CTA Green Line stop: Garfield Boulevard station, Hyde Park Boulevard, and at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and 63rd Street.


Population (2010)

• Total 11,717
• Density 7,900/sq mi (3,100/km2)

Demographics (2010)

• White 0.74%
• Black 97.04%
• Hispanic 0.89%
• Asian 0.1%
• Other 1.23%

Neighborhood Links

• Washington Park | Chicago Park District
• South Side Community Art Center
3rd Ward & Alderman
4th Ward & Alderman
20th Ward & Alderman