Free events Midway Plaisance
Where: Hyde Park, 1130 Midway Plaisance (between 59th & 60th Streets) between Kimbark and Dorchester avenues.
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at Midway Plaisance Friday, Oct 8, 2021 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month through cultural exhibits, music dance, arts and crafts. All ages welcome.
Roller Skating Under The Stars at Midway Plaisance Thursday, Oct 21, 2021 from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Bring your skates and prepare to have a glorious time with DJ EDUB. If it rains, this event will be rescheduled for October 28th. (Mask required).
Free events Midway Plaisance – Related
About Midway Plaisance Park (redacted from Chicago Park District website)
The Midway Plaisance is a linear stretch of parkland between Jackson and Washington parks.All three sites were originally conceived as a single landscape known as SouthPark. The South Park Commission (established in 1869 and later part of the Chicago Park District) hired Olmsted and Vaux, the designers of New York’s Central Park, to lay out the 1055-acre park.
Olmsted and Vaux’s original plan of 1871 envisioned an system of planted lagoons covering about one-third of the Lower Division (Jackson Park). This waterway would link with Lake Michigan on the east and with a smaller lagoon called the Mere at the Upper Division (Washington Park) on the west via a long formal canal and pleasure drive, accessible to people walking, riding horses (and carriages), and boating. Olmsted & Vaux named the center landscape the Midway Plaisance.
The canal was put on on-hold due to financial problems after the Great Fire of 1871. In 1891, Jackson Park was selected as the site for the World’s Columbian Exposition, and Olmsted worked with architect Daniel H. Burnham to transform the largely unfinished grounds into the “WhiteCity.”
The fair authorities used the Midway Plaisance as the site of amusements, restaurants, foreign villages, and ethnological exhibits. The most iconic attraction on the Midway was the world’s first Ferris wheel standing 264-feet with thirty-six cars, each with a capacity of sixty people.
After the fair Olmsted was hired to transform the fairgrounds back into parkland. THe priority was to transform Jackson Park fairgrounds back into usable parkland was the priority, and the canals on the Midway were never built. The commissioners installed sewers, drives, walks, bridle paths, reconditioned the wide center lawn, and planted more than 500 elm trees in straight rows lining the driveway.