Protector of Grant Park Gets His Own Open Space

October 18, 2010

Just days after Chicagoland Real Estate Forum told you that the Michigan Avenue Bridge was renamed DuSable Bridge in honor of Chicago’s first resident, we have another dedication to report.

A. Montgomery Ward Park

Chicago's A. Montgomery Ward Park

A park formerly known as Erie Park, or Park 511, was renamed A. Montgomery Ward Park today by Chicago officials and park advocates.

Wonder why? Well, it was Chicago businessman Aaron Montgomery Ward who fought with the city for two decades and through four court battles to keep Chicago’s lakefront “forever open, clear and free” so all people could access it.

Aaron Montgomery Ward

Aaron Montgomery Ward

Because of Ward, Chicago has Grant Park. The “Ward rulings” are still used today to protect our lakefront and parks from encroachment; now the champion of that cause has an open space of his own on the Chicago River.

The A. Montgomery Ward Park, 630 N. Kingsbury Avenue, on the southwest corner of Kingsbury and Erie Streets in Chicago’s River North, is located on land once owned by the Montgomery Ward Company.

Friends of the Parks, the Chicago Park District, the River North Residents’ Association, Alderman Brendan Reilly and the A. Montgomery Ward Foundation dedicated the recently enhanced park today and unveiled a new sign.

Trivia question: Who also invented the mail-order industry in 1872 in Chicago?

You guessed it: A. Montgomery Ward.

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