McKinley Park Central Manufacturing District Clock Tower

Exploring McKinley Park Community Area of Chicago

Posted in Explore Chicago

McKinley Park in Chicago, Illinois is a park located in the South Lawndale neighborhood of the city and has a long, unique history of industrial development. From its earliest days as a marshy area of prairie, through its development as an industrial powerhouse in the late 19th century, McKinley Park has been an integral part of Chicago’s growth and development.

The area surrounding McKinley Park was originally a marshy area of prairie and was used for grazing by local farmers. In the mid-1800s, the area was developed as a residential neighborhood and soon after, it began to attract industry. The Union Stockyards, a large meat processing facility, was built nearby in 1865, and it helped to spur the growth of numerous other industrial facilities in the area.

By the late 19th century, McKinley Park had become an important industrial center in Chicago. Many factories located in the park, including the Western Electric Company, a major manufacturer of telephones, and the Elgin Watch Company, a well-known manufacturer of pocket watches. At one point, the park was home to over 100 different factories and industries.

The area also attracted other businesses and services, including banks, restaurants, and stores. The park was a popular destination for workers in the area and was known for its bustling atmosphere. The park also hosted a variety of events, such as parades, circuses, and baseball games.

Today, McKinley Park is no longer a major industrial center, but the area still retains some of its industrial character. The Western Electric Company and the Elgin Watch Company have both closed, but other factories still remain. Additionally, the park is still a popular destination for visitors, offering a variety of recreational activities, such as basketball, tennis, and a swimming pool.

McKinley Park is a fascinating part of Chicago history and its industrial development helped to shape the city into the thriving metropolis that it is today.

Categories: Explore Chicago

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