Classic Chicago field house Holstein Park celebrates 100th - FOX 32 News Chicago

Classic Chicago field house Holstein Park celebrates 100th

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In this week's Classic Chicago, FOX Chicago News featured Holstein Park in Bucktown. The historic field house just celebrated its 100th birthday.

In 1912, the Titanic sunk in the North Atlantic, Woodrow Wilson was elected president, Ty Cobb lead the majors with a .409 average, and on the Northwest Side, Holstein Park was born.

"Bucktown is a growing, thriving community," Friends of Holstein Park president Michelle Pennington said. "We've got great community members who use this park a lot and we want this field house to last for another 100 years."

Just two weeks ago, Friends of Holstein Park threw a day-long party here with food trucks and bands called the "Holstein 100."

It's a centennial celebration and fundraiser to help prop up the centerpiece of their neighborhood where kids can be found every day, enjoying the playground, cooling off in the Olympic-size pool or shooting buckets in the character-filled field house.

"People are very proud to be in Bucktown," Pennington said. "We're a very community-oriented group of people. We like knowing our neighbors and being involved in our community."

That's not unlike so many other neighborhoods in the city, where parks remain an integral park of everyday life. A testimony to the foresight of our city fathers who would build staff and program more field houses than any other city in the country.

"Chicago has a whole tradition of social reforms," Chicago Park District's Julia Bachrach said, "starting with Jane Adams and resulting in wonderful kinds of resources such as these parks with the field houses."

In the old days, field houses like the one at Holstein Park were used not only for recreation, but as public baths and even a place for immigrants to learn how to speak English.

Chicago has 263 field houses in the city. The city with the second most field houses is Philadelphia - and they're a hundred behind us.

It's a remarkable asset that really sets us apart from any city in America.

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