Free movies Ward Park River North. Montgomery Ward Park will once again present outdoor movies as part of the Summer Film Series.
Where: A. Montgomery Ward Park, 630 N. Kingsbury St., (312) 742-2410. Check out your dining options at Cheap eats River North.
When: All movie start times are approximate. Movies begin at dusk.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Tuesday, June 19 at 8pm
Raiders of the Lost Ark Tuesday, July 10 at 8pm
The Greatest Showman Tuesday, July 24 at 8:15pm
The Post Tuesday, Aug 7 at 8:15pm
Coco Monday, Aug 20 at 8pm
About Montgomery Ward Park (redacted from Chicago Park District)
n 2010, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners officially named Park 511 (previously nicknamed Erie Park) in honor of Aaron Montgomery Ward, Chicago’s famous mail order entrepreneur who became known as the “Watchdog of the Lakefront.” Its site at 630 N. Kingsbury Street is only a few short blocks away from the Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalog House Building at 600 N. Chicago Avenue.
Born in New Jersey, Aaron Montgomery Ward (1843- 1913) grew up in Niles, Michigan. Settling in Chicago in 1865, he worked for Field, Palmer & Leiter (later Marshall Field & Co.) and then for another Chicago department store known as CW Partridge.
In 1872, A. Montgomery Ward founded the world’s first large mail order house in the world, operating from a loft over a livery stable on Kinzie Street between Rush and State Streets. He went on to become one of the nation’s most successful businessmen. Ward’s Michigan Avenue office overlooked Lake Park (later renamed Grant Park).
By the 1880s the park had garbage heaps, livery shacks, an unsightly maintenance yard, and the City regularly leased out space there to Barnum and other circuses. A. Montgomery Ward filed an injunction to prohibit the city from dumping garbage, maintaining sheds and shacks, and holding circuses there.
Daniel H. Burnham developed plans proposing several buildings in the center of Grant Park including a new Field Museum and Crerar Library. Aware that early restrictions that deemed the site as a “Public Ground… forever open, clear and free of any buildings or obstructions whatever,” Ward continued his battle to protect the lakefront open space.
Vilified by the media and government officials, public opinion regarding Ward’s efforts was generally negative. Ward won his final court challenge in 1910 and is revered today for his battle to protect Chicago’s lakefront.