Marquette Park, the largest park on the southwest side of Chicago, Illinois at 323 acres (1.31 km2), is located in the city's Chicago Lawn neighborhood. The park is named for Father Jacques Marquette (1637–1675).
Planning and development
The original plans for Marquette Park called for "a golf course on two islands surrounded by naturalistic lagoons; indoor and outdoor gymnasiums; swimming and wading pools; a children's playground; formal gardens; and a concert grove." Due to its size, construction of the park went more slowly than most of the others in the system, and several features of the original plan were dropped due to difficulties with the landscape. Still, in 1913, the 18-hole golf course opened and "by 1917, the park included playing fields, a children's playground, tennis courts, propagating houses for the nursery, and a large, classically-designed golf shelter."
In the early 1930s, the Great Depression caused the bankruptcy of the individual park districts. In 1934, the 22 independent agencies were consolidated into the Chicago Park District. After the consolidation of Chicago's park commissions into the Chicago Park District in 1934, park workers redesigned the golf shelter, built comfort stations, and expanded the walking paths in the park to include the islands.
Tarkington Elementary School
The Tarkington Elementary School, located at 3330 W. 71st Street on the south side of the park and serving pre-K through the 8th grade, was completed in 2005 and classes began on Tuesday, October 4 of that year. Tarkington is the first in the Chicago Public Schools system to have the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. With a building area approximately 134,000 square feet (12,400 m2), the school sits on a 9.82-acre (39,700 m2) site. The school was built to relieve overcrowding on the Southwest Side and will serve up to 1,000 elementary school students.
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