Chicago, IL 60626
Located in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood between Clark Street and Paulina Street, Touhy Park covers 6.35 acres, with two softball fields, two tennis courts, and two playgrounds. A small field house allows children to participate in a number of activities.
Touhy Park opened on November 22, 1955.
Weekly programming focuses on early childhood recreation (18 months-5 years) during the morning hours. Nature-based programs such as the children's harvest garden are popular at the park. Those with a green thumb are invited to come out to the park and get involved in the community garden.
The Touhy Park Advisory Council, is made up of local neighborhood residents and meets regularly to discuss maintenance, programming and events at the park.
Soon after World War II, the Chicago Park District began a major initiative to create new parks for the first time in many years. This Ten Year Plan identified 43 sites in undeveloped areas which were starting to boom and neighborhoods with few existing parks.
In 1948, the district acquired 6.35 acres in Rogers Park, which was among the city's neighborhoods most in need of open space and recreational facilities. Due to the flurry of new construction at the time, Touhy Park was not completed until 1954. In the 1960s, the Park District built an addition converting the original comfort station into a field house. In 1990, separate soft surface playgrounds for older children and tots were added.
The park and nearby Touhy Avenue pay tribute to Captain Patrick Leonard Touhy (1839-1911) one of the founders of the Village of Rogers Park. An Irish immigrant who ran a grocery store in Chicago, Touhy married Catherine Rogers, daughter of the area's first white settler, Philip McGregor Rogers, in 1865. Several years later, when Catherine inherited hundreds of acres of land, Touhy began developing Rogers Park. Along with a group of other early settlers, he soon established the Rogers Park Building and Land Company. Formally incorporated as a Village in 1878, Rogers Park was annexed to Chicago in 1893, and is now among the city's most diverse neighborhoods.