Washington Park - Chicago neighborhood   

Now let's take a look at the popular Washington Park neighborhood.
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Washington Park is a well-defined community area (and neighborhood) on the South Side of
Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, USA. 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. And is home of 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.

The DuSable Museum of African American History, founded in 1961, moved to Washington
Park in 1973. It is a
Washington Park landmark and one of the largest African American
museums in the country.

The park in this community area was named for President George Washington in 1880.
Washington Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 20, 2004.
Washington Park was conceived by Paul Cornell, a Chicago real estate magnate who had
founded the adjoining town of Hyde Park.

Interesting sights in the Park include the DuSable Museum of African American History and
its sculpture garden, the Lorado Taft sculpture Fountain of Time, and an architecturally
distinctive National Guard regiment. Washington Park is a social center of the South Side and
hosts many festivals in the summer, including Chicago's best organized cricket league and
the terminus of the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic. The largest 16" softball league in Chicago
is played there on Sundays (called "Sunday's Best Softball League"). There are 34 teams
who play on 13 diamonds. There is also a weekday evening league.


In literature and culture

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.

Additionally, the aforementioned adjacent Washington Park Subdivision has been the subject
of notable literature. The conditions of this neighborhood are described in a section of Black
Metropolis by St. Clair Drake and Horace Roscoe Cayton.

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.

Washington Park Demographics

Population (2000)
- Total        14,146
- Density        9,566.1/sq mi (3,693.5/km2)
population down 27.18% from 1990


ZIP Codes      parts of 60609, 60615, 60621, 60637
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