If you find yourself downtown near Roosevelt Road and looking for a quiet spot to get away with your dog for a few minutes Roosevelt Park is a great little park. Tucked in (under?) the bustling intersection of Roosevelt and South Clark Street, Roosevelt Park has tennis courts, a short jogging track, and ample open space.
Roosevelt Road, on the southern flank, and Clark Street, on the western side, both rise above the park and the huge supports for the roadways create a massive bunker that makes the park surprisingly quiet.
Thanks to the elevated roadways for Roosevelt and Clark, Roosevelt Park is completely enclosed from car traffic. The other two sides of the park are lined with private homes.
Roosevelt Park lies in the South Loop’s Dearborn Park housing development, laid out by the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the mid-1970s. As planning for the 51-acre residential complex progressed, the Chicago Park District began acquiring property at the southern end of the development for parkland. Improvements began in 1980, and the 1.6-acre site soon had three tennis courts and a small lawn encircled by a running track. Both the park and adjacent Roosevelt Road take their names from Theodore Roosevelt (1856-1919), 26th President of the United States. Roosevelt was a New York Republican who was elected Vice President in 1896. He rose to the nation’s highest office in 1901, after an assassin killed President William McKinley. A lover of America’s wilderness, Roosevelt is sometimes called the “Conservation President” because it was under his administration that the federal government first took a serious interest in protecting natural lands and established the U.S. Forest Service. Roosevelt was also an advocate of city park creation, and in 1907 pronounced Chicago’s revolutionary system of south side neighborhood parks “one of the most notable civic achievements of any American city.” (CPD)
Officially located at 62 West Roosevelt Road, Roosevelt Park is a park that is best used only if you can walk there. Parking is very limited in the area and can be difficult.
There is a subtle causeway at the intersection of Roosevelt and State Street that allows easy access to the park from Grant Park. At the southwest corner of State and Roosevelt the causeway runs alongside the residence at the corner, but it is very narrow so if you have a wheelchair or wide cart it may be difficult to fit. The causeway ends at the Plymouth Court tunnel that runs beneath Roosevelt Road, connecting the north and south ends of Plymouth. Head north under the tunnel and follow the sidewalk on the west side of the street toward the Target and you will find the park in the corner of Roosevelt and Clark.
OTHER CHICAGO DOG PARKS:
- Belmont Harbor
- Daniel Webster
- Fermi Labs
- Fred Anderson
- Grant Park Bark Park
- No. 540
- Prairie District
- White Sox Dog Days
- Lake County Forest Preserve Dog Parks
- Duck Farm Dog Park
- Independence Grove Dog Park
- Lakewood Dog Park
- Prairie Wolf Dog Park
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