Projects | Columbus Park
In the early 1900s, the West Side of Chicago was densely populated, but only offered two small playgrounds for its residents. The West Park Commission acquired the property from a Catholic Church who had abandoned plans to build a seminary on the land. Columbus Park was the first large park conceived by the commission since 1869.
Columbus Park was designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen, who is considered the “Dean of Prairie-style landscape architecture”. This project was the only large park Jensen had an opportunity to create entirely, and is thought to represent the culmination of his design efforts. It is the only park in Chicago that includes Jensen’s iconic “council ring”, a circular stone bench formation. The park reached National Register of Historic Places in 1991 and became a National Historic Landmark in 2003.
Columbus Park is comprised of a fieldhouse, gymnasium, a refectory, and a vast nature area which includes a nine-hole golf course. The park encompasses over 135 acres and offers the community a multi-faceted recreation center. However, many of the facilities of the park require updates to keep them in use. Bailey Edward conducted a facility condition assessment to understand the needs of the buildings and to identify a scope of work for each.
A variety of necessary updates and repairs were found during the assessment. The gymnasium floors require repairs and refinishes, and windows and doors need to be replaced. The fieldhouse hosts a fitness center, kitchens, a senior center and a banquet room. The bathroom and locker rooms require extensive renovations to bring them up-to-date. The interior of the fieldhouse will see several restorations including painting, new lighting, and bringing the facility up to ADA code. The refectory, used as a popular special event and wedding venue is due for masonry repairs.
Bailey Edward will be working with the Public Building Commission as a part of our retainer with them to help bring Columbus Park’s facilities up-to-date so the surrounding communities can take full advantage of the historic park and the amenities it has to offer.