Thursday, March 27, 2008

Warren Park in Rogers Park

Warren Park in West Ridge/West Rogers Park

With nearly 90 acres of parkland, Warren Park is the North Region’s largest park featuring a number of special attractions for every season of the year. In April, a state-of-the-art skate park and six station baseball batting cages open to the public. The 80-by-80 foot skate park, situated to the north of the fieldhouse, contains the same equipment used by pros, including quarter pipes, pyramid combinations, street spines, launches, grind rails and fun boxes. Admission fee is $2 and is intended for skateboarders and in-line skaters only. Step up to the plate and test your batting skills at the batting cages. At the nine-station cage, choose from a variety of speeds that range from 40 to 70 mph and select either baseball or softball (12-inch) styles of play. The batting cages cost $1 for 15 pitches. Weathering permitting, the cages are open April - September. The hours of operation are Monday, Closed; Tuesday - Friday, 4 - 8 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 11 am - 5pm. Bring your own bat.

Fitness enthusiasts can hop onto a paved path that winds throughout the park for walking, jogging or biking. Golf-lovers head to the Robert A. Black nine-hole golf course and golf putting practice area located on the northeast end of the park. Warren also boasts a racquetball court open for play on weekdays, 10 am - 7 pm for $6 per person.

In the winter months, Warren Park boasts an outdoor ice rink for skating, as well as a sled hill for all ages. This winter, the ice rink will operate (weather permitting) until March 16, 2008.

Warren Park’s programming ranges from aerobics to unique West African drum classes. For youth and teens, the park has strong after-school program (Park Kids), baseball, basketball and soccer programs. The site is also home to the North Region’s administrative offices.


Warren Park was created in the 1970s, born of both conflict and cooperation. The controversy began in 1965 when real estate developers purchased the former Edgewater Golf Club. Shortly thereafter, a coalition of community groups started a campaign to save the land as open space. Despite the strong community objection, however, the site was re-zoned to allow development of high-rise apartments and a large shopping center.

The State of Illinois forcefully intervened in 1970, acquiring a portion of the property to create the first-ever state park within the boundaries of Chicago. Plans to develop the remaining acreage continued, and community opposition stayed strong. In 1972, the Chicago Park District determined to purchase this land. The state transferred its property to the park district in 1975. By that time, the park had been named in honor of Laurence C. Warren (---), an attorney and leading community activist who helped save the open space as parkland. In 1980, Warren Park's nine-hole golf course was officially dedicated in honor of Robert A. Black (---), Chief Engineer to the Chicago Park District for more than thirty years.