ChicagoWest / Southwest

Columbus Park, an idealized prairie in Austin

by Joe Zekas on 11/19/12

The Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side is home to one of the city’s most beautiful parks.

Columbus Park was conceived 100 years ago, and landscape architect Jens Jensen began its design on a 150-acre parcel in 1915. The park has had its ups and downs over the years, including the loss of acreage for the Eisenhower Expressway, and some of its most striking original features no longer exist. It does, however, retain enough of its original integrity to have merited inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. You can learn about the park in this National Park Service Historic Places Lesson Plan.

Columbus Park’s Mediterranean Revival refectory, a style not to Jens Jensen’s liking, is a popular spot for weddings and other events. You can see more of reallyboring’s photos of Columbus Park and Austin at Flickr.

You can see more of our aerial photos of Chicago at Flickr.

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