Welcome to Douglas Park, Chicago

Welcome to Douglas Park Riot Festers

Douglas Park is our new home and for the coming months we want all of you to become more familiar with the community, whether it be through the many indie businesses, not-for-profits, history, and of course, the diversity.

So, as a Cliff Notes version for today, here are some of things we think you should know about our new home:


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A Quick Douglas Park History Lesson:

During the late 1880s, the newly established West Park Commission partnered with William LeBaron Jenney to create three large parks on the west side with boulevards that linked the triad of recreational spaces. Humboldt, Garfield and Douglas parks emerged as a result.

Full construction of the park took a while, though, as it was completed nearly 25 years later by renowned Prairie School architect Jens Jenson in an effort to reform and revitalize the network of west side recreation areas. As general superintendent and chief landscape architect of the entire West Park system, Jensen brought a new life to Douglas, Humboldt and Garfield parks. He added an ornate arcing entrance to Douglas Park, a formal garden known as Flower Hall and a reflecting pool.

Additional Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Park_(Chicago)


Location / Transportation

  • Douglas Park has a rich architectural and cultural history that also boast two well regarded hospitals.
  • Douglas Park is located in close proximity to Illinois Medical District and University Village (University of Illinois at Chicago) / Little Italy
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company is also nearby

Transportation is easy via the highway or CTA. The park is:

  • 10 minute ride from Humboldt Park
  • just steps from the CTA Pink Line
  • a few blocks from the CTA Blue Line
  • a few blocks from BNSF line, Western Metra stop
  • <1 mile from highway I-290
  • 12 minute car ride from Downtown Chicago

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Quirky Facts Regarding our New Home:

  • When Chicago was doing that whole Olympic bid thing, Douglas Park was going to be used for cycling events, including a BMX course. Have at it Red Bull.
  • There’s a mini golf course on grounds. Seriously. That should make Fat Mike happy when NOFX comes back to play Riot (and no, that’s not a lineup hint for this year)
  • Douglas Park is named after Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who ran against good ole Abe Lincoln in the 1860 U.S. Presidential Election. He lost.
  • Stephen A. Douglas’ nickname was “Little Giant” because he had a Napolean thing going on, which is the kinship we now share with him.
  • The park was initially named South Park. The name changed in 1869 to what we know now as Douglas Park.
  • Not only was William LeBaron Jenney quite the designer of park space, he also is credited for building the first ever skyscraper and is know is the architectural circles as the Father of the American Skyscraper. Sort of like Iggy.
  • Ogden Ave. is part of Route 66. Enough said. We are now requiring all bands and out-of-towners to take Route 66 on the road to Riot.


If you look around, you might not even notice you are in a different park…. Douglas park has all the charm that Humboldt Park has plus:

  • An ornate arcing entrance that welcomes you to the park
  • A formal garden known as Flower Hall, perennial flower beds, a lilly pool and unique Prarie benches
  • Reflecting pool
  • Fieldhouse constructed by same architect as HP field house, 90% identical
  • Bona fide lake in the center of the park
  • Boulevards, bike and jogging paths
  • Douglas Park retains the original lagoon, a variety of trees (including a grove of weeping willows) and original footbridges.


Our New Neighbors:

So, we got lots of them: North Lawndale, South Lawndale, Little Village, the Lower West Side, Pilsen and even all of the Illinois Medical District. The great thing is that all of the neighborhoods offer up different things that are unique them… and quite honestly, that’s what makes Chicago great. The people who know us—and for our new neighbors about to find out—we dive into the communities we call home and help out in any way we can. AND, our fans rule. The best. Not. Even. Close. They’re extremely passionate and socially aware and care about what neighborhood we call home, whether it’s by volunteering at local charities in the neighborhood or by just simply spreading the word about a local restaurant, bar or shop that’s left of the dial and cool.

So, stayed tuned each week as we focus on some tidbits about our new home… we are excited and you’ll be too.



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20 comments on “Welcome to Douglas Park, Chicago

  1. Cool! Can’t wait to dig Douglas Park! Let’s not be bitter about our friends in Humboldt – it’s a disagreement, that’s all. Glad that the Fest remains in Chicago, just now South Side!!! All love, Tim

  2. Wow! This is so close to where I live. I remember hearing how Riot Fest offered the residents of Humboldt Park free tickets. Will this be something they will be offering to the residents in Douglas Park?

    1. That’s not entirely true. It wasn’t “free tickets for everyone in the neighborhood”, it was “free tickets for people who completed at least 25 hours of volunteer service to a non-profit in Chicago”. They’ll probably continue to offer that program in the future.

  3. So sorry you guys were bullied by Humboldt Park. Ald. Maldonado does not speak for all of us. Please, please, please, try to come back to HP next year. Today is a very sad day. We apparently have terrible politicians in our 26th Ward that will only listen to a few of their own constituents and not the majority. Sorry Riot Fest.

    1. I feel the same way and I knew I was not alone! Just because I am not Puerto Rican does not mean my voice should not be heard. The alderman is biased! I really do feel that Riot fest will come back to Humboldt Park, let’s pray for next year!!

  4. Congratulations on finding a new home guy’s. I am sure the new home will be beneficial for the community and the overall event. Always a supporter and brother of everyone involved in the Fest.


    David Czuprynski

  5. I don’t usually flex my History major knowledge but I am fairly certain Abe Lincoln did not beat Stephen A. Douglas in the year of our Lord 1960.

  6. It sucks that Riot Fest won’t be at Humboldt Park anymore but I’m glad we are going somewhere they want us. And very glad it is staying in Chicago.

  7. How about shuttle buses to and from metra station? That would have been nice last year. Save my feet for standing all day. Charge a few bucks a ride. Provide a few jobs and make an old guy happy.

  8. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
    Thanks Humboldt Park residents for giving us Riot Fest.
    I live in Pilsen and we welcome you to come back every year.
    So remember, get your kicks on Route 66 (Ogden Ave.).
    Viva el Riot Fest.

  9. Fantastic that this remains in the city, where it belongs! In addition to bus info, it would also be nice to post some parking suggestions.

    It’s a shame those HP businesses suffer for a small minded decision, but I’ll drink at Laganita’s any day!

  10. I’m coming from the UK, and have never been to Chicago, so this change doesn’t really mean much to me. I’m just looking forward to the line up being announced, and getting to Riot Fest 2015!

  11. This is going to be simply FANTASTIC! Can’t wait to partake, and having a place across the street is simply awesome! Welcome RIOT FEST to DOUGLAS PARK baby!!! 😉

  12. Coming from Detroit this year. I’m really excited but I’m worried about how far I’m going to have to commute to get a cheaper hotel. I’ll sleep in the hood. I’m from Detroit so it’s nothing new. Either way it’ll be a great weekend!

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