The best attractions in Humboldt Park
Designed by William Le Baron Jenney in the mid-1800s and enhanced several years later by Jens Jensen, Humboldt Park was once the nation’s greatest public park, boasting acres of Prairie-style gardens, grazing animals and a meandering river scene. Though the animals are long gone, the park still offers extensive rose beds as well as tennis courts, an inland beach, baseball fields and bike paths.
Two towering red and blue Puerto Rican flags are among the greatest markers of neighborhood pride in Chicago, as the pair mark the gateway to Humboldt Park. Made of steel and measuring 59-feet-tall, the flags are a compelling monument to Division Street between California and Western avenues, an area also known as Paseo Boricua. Humboldt Park has been a largely Puerto Rican community since the ’70s, and the flags went up in 1995.
The Humboldt Park Fieldhouse offers a banquet room, fitness center and gymnasium. Constructed in 1928, the classic structure was designed by Michaelsen and Rognstad, the same pair responsible for the Garfield Park Gold Dome Building and the Douglas and LaFolette Park Fieldhouse. In the summer, water fills the lagoon adjacent to the fieldhouse, washing up against a patch of sand known as the Humboldt Park Beach.
Look out over the water on a summer afternoon or check out the quiet Boathouse Cafe for lunch at the Humboldt Park Boathouse, which sports an iconic Prairie School design. Diners can eat a sandwich while watching ducks swim across the pond or take shelter from summer shower under the canopy.
A formerly abandoned stretch of elevated railway track that runs through Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park and Bucktown has found new life as the 606. Named after the first three digits in every Chicago zip code, the 2.7-mile path provides a quick way to travel east and west on the North Side, connecting several parks and public art installations. Prepare to dodge strollers, bicycles and residents out for a very slow jog on this popular throughway.
This free museum in Humboldt Park showcases Puerto Rican culture and art as well as hosting workshops and special events.