West Garfield Park is community area #26, sitting 5 miles west of The Loop. Its eastern neighbor East Garfield Park is community area #25, and sits a mile closer from eastern border to downtown Chicago. This is an area with a storied past, and many brilliant examples of amazing residential architecture. Garfield Park itself, formerly the Central Park of the West Chicago Parks Commission three major parks, features brilliant landscaping by Jens Jensen and William Le Baron Jenney, a gilded-domed fieldhouse, formerly serving as district headquarters, and a brilliant Conservatory, which Jens Jensen designed and filled with exotic plant specimens, very different from his prairie-native planting design philosophy.
West of the park lay what was for a time, one of the hottest night-life sections of Chicago, the Madison-Crawford District. The booms were as magnificent, as the busts were difficult. A confluence of events sent the area spiraling into a economic tailspin that began with the construction of the Congress (Eisenhower) Expressway in the 1950s, and culminated in racial discrimination, industrial abandonment, and urban decay that saw a population decline of two-thirds in fifty years.
Past dates of the Tour of East and West Garfield Park
- June 19, 2010
- September 18, 2011
- May 18, 2013