Ridge Park

Ridge Park This is the official page for Ridge Park Cultural Center, owned and operated by the Chicago Park District. Located in the Beverly community, Ridge Park totals 9.32 acres and features a gymnasium, auditorium, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, woodshop, and multi-purpose rooms.

Outside, the park offers three baseball fields, playground, tennis courts and walking path.Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasium, fields, auditorium, and multi-purpose rooms. Park-goers can participate in seasonal sports, cheerleading, aquatics, lacrosse, model car making, furniture building and repair, woodcraft, pottery, ceramics. On the cultural side, the park offers theater.After school programs are offered throughout the school year, and during the summer, youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp. Specialty camps are offered in the summer as well, and include Theater Camp. In addition to programs, Ridge Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as holiday-themed events. History Ridge Park was the first of five Beverly neighborhood parks created by the Ridge Park District, one of 22 independent park boards consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. Soon after its 1908 establishment, the Ridge Park District began a search for park property. Enthusiastic residents advocated the purchase of property along Longwood Drive, already the site of "fine homes set in spacious grounds." The park district's board of commissioners agreed, and in 1911 and 1912 purchased 9.32 acres of property, including a small, city-owned park. The new park was named Ridge Park for the tree-studded ridge that runs along the park's western boundary, the one-time shore line of glacial Lake Chicago. John Todd Hetherington (1858 - 1936) was a Canadian-born architect who lived in the Beverly neighborhood served as a member of the Ridge Park Board of Commissioners from 1911 to 1913. Hetherington had originally recommended another local architect, Arthur Foster, to design the park. In 1912, however, the other board members asked Hetherington to take on the project. Hetherington created an original plan including a small field house, outdoor swimming pool, wading pool, and a running track. Constructed in 1913, the building and athletic facilities were all surrounded by a restful landscape of trees, shrubbery, flowers, lawns, and walks. The fashionable Beverly district grew dramatically during the 1920s, and by late in that decade, Ridge Park was in need of a much larger field house. By this time, John T. Hetherington had formed a partnership with his son Murray D. Hetherington (1891 - 1972). The Ridge Park District commissioned Hetherington architects to design a much larger brick fieldhouse for the park. They retained a part of the old field house as the auditorium, incorporating some of the room's original features such as its trusses. They also built the addition around the outdoor swimming pool, which then became an indoor aquatic facility. In addition to the indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, auditorium and club rooms, the building also provided a home for the John H. Vanderpoel Memorial Art Gallery, a collection of some 500 works by American painters and sculptors. The Vanderpoel collection was assembled to honor the contributions of Beverly resident John H. Vanderpoel (1857-1911), who taught painting at the Art Institute for more than 30 years and who, with his mentor, Art Institute Director, W.M.R. French, helped to make Beverly a culturally-rich community. Most of the works displayed were donated by the artists themselves out of respect for Vanderpoel's genius. Ridge Park includes a number of monuments to veterans of various wars. In the early 1990s, the park district grouped these together in a single memorial area when the community sought to recognize Beverly resident and U.S. Marine Corps Captain William J. Hurley (1963-1991), who died while on a training mission during the Desert Storm conflict. Parking/Directions For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.


9625 S Longwood Dr
Chicago, IL


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