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:
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
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.