Crafting Your Experience

CAC Open House

Bike Trail: Olmsted's South Park

The three interlocking landscapes of Jackson Park, Washington Park and the Midway Plaisance form a coherent 1,055-acre terrain known originally as South Park. Designed in 1871 by Frederick Law Olmsted, widely regarded as the “founder of American landscape architecture,” the South Park system evolved over the years. Olmsted designed and redesigned Jackson Park three times over 20+ years to accommodate the 1893 World’s Fair and other uses. By comparison, Olmsted's original design for Washington Park was rather underdeveloped and naturalistic. Along with a handful of other Olmsted-designed urban park systems of the era, including well-known examples in Boston, Buffalo and Brooklyn, South Park provided cities across the country with a model in how best to lay out public green spaces. This trail, enjoyed on foot or by bike, highlights notable features throughout the South Park system.

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