Franklin Park

Jensen drawings of the Dvorak Park.
© Copyrights reserved to Chicago Park District.

In 1914, after several years of experimentation, Jens Jensen completed the plan for Franklin Park, which was considered a "radical change" from earlier neighborhood parks. Here, he succeeded in creating a site evocative of the native Illinois landscape, although it was only 8.5 acres in size. Minimizing the amount of space devoted to indoor facilities, Jensen included playing fields enclosed by native plantings, a bird garden, and a shady "old folks corner." Irregularly shaped pools with rocky ledges emulated country swimming holes. In the "spirit of Indian lore," the park also had an area for a campfire on the player's green, an elevated "clearing" used for outdoor dramatics and small gatherings. Unfortunately none of Franklin Park’s historic fabric remains today.


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