|Location||Roughly bounded by N. Sacramento and Augusta Blvds., and N. Kedzie, North and N. California Aves. and W. Division St., Chicago, Illinois|
|Area||206.9 acres (83.7 ha)|
|MPS||Chicago Park District MPS|
|NRHP reference No.||92000074|
|Added to NRHP||February 20, 1992|
|Designated CL||November 13, 1996 and |
February 6, 2008
Humboldt Park is a 207-acre (84 ha) park located at 1400 North Sacramento Avenue on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois.
The park was named for Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist and botanist.
William Le Baron Jenney began developing the park in the 1870s, molding a flat prairie landscape into a "pleasure ground" with horse trails and a pair of lagoons. Originally named "North Park", it opened to the public in 1877, but landscape architects such as Jens Jensen made significant additions to the park over the next few decades. Between 1905 and 1920, Jensen connected the two lagoons with a river, planted a rose garden, and built a fieldhouse, boathouse, and music pavilion.
In 2018, the Chicago Park District and Chicago Parks Foundation partnered with the Garden Conservancy to improve the Jens Jensen Formal Garden. They rehabilitated the natural landscape and repaired deteriorating infrastructure, winning the 2018 Jens Jensen Award from the IL chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The park played a prominent role in the past for Chicago's Polish community. The Polish Constitution Day Parade once traditionally terminated here at the Tadeusz Kosciuszko statue that was located here before it was moved to Solidarity Promenade on the lakefront Museum Campus in 1981. Additionally, pianist and Polish statesman Ignace Paderewski delivered a famous address where he rallied Chicagoans to the cause of a free and independent Poland.
From 2012 to 2014, Humboldt Park was the home of the punk rock–based music festival Riot Fest and Carnival. For 2015, the three-day music festival was met with opposition from Alderman Roberto Maldonado and local residents over the condition of the grass, lack of accessibility during and after the festival, and gentrification of the surrounding area. This led to the festival's relocation south to Douglass Park.
In 2019, an alligator was found at the park's lagoon, capturing much interest and media attention.
The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. The boathouse pavilion was named a Chicago Landmark on November 13, 1996. The stables and receptory became a Chicago Landmark on February 6, 2008.
The stable and receptory is a single building. It was built in 1895–1896 as a half-timbered German country house that combined Queen Anne revival features. The eclectic architecture also incorporated some neo-medieval and neo-romanesque details, like turrets and a Richardsonian courtyard porte-cochere.
The Receptory was the visitor center and main building of the park. It included the park superintendent's office, first occupied by Jens Jensen. Visitors would park their carriages there.
The rear portion of the building was the stable, with stalls for 16 horses. It is less ornate, but still features many roof dormers and a spire.
Main article: National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
Chicago's Puerto Rican community leased the stables – which is near Paseo Boricua – to house the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, which opened in 2009.
Additionally, the park was once home to the Tadeusz Kościuszko Monument by Kazimierz Chodzinski that was built thanks to funds raised by Chicago's Polish community and moved in 1981 to the city's lakefront.
[The Receptory and Stable] is a visually-striking fusion of both building types: the visually-rich and diverse Queen Anne architectural style, combined with the “old Germans tyle of country house architecture,” [...] and Medieval and Romanesque details made from eclectic building materials and textures