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Mapping Downtown Chicago's Eight Tiniest Public Parks

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During Curbed's Micro Week we're celebrating tiny spaces of all types, from shoebox-sized apartments to public parks roughly the size of a king mattress. After profiling what is definitely the smallest park in Chicago, we wanted to look at more tiny public parks in the greater Downtown area. Most parks in the city are at least an acre, but with the tight real estate constraints of our central business district, the city had to think small to carve out pieces of green for the public to enjoy. With some input from the Chicago Loop Alliance, the Chicago Parks District, and good ol' Google Maps, we put together a list of 8 park spaces you could walk to from the Loop, all of which measure well under an acre.

One thing we weren't expecting during this exercise was finding out that these micro-parks would produce a practically straight vertical line cutting north-south through town when mapped. It wasn't intentional on our part, but all of the parks less than an acre within the downtown area just happen to be within one block of State Street. Keep that one in your back pocket for your next trivia night!


·Micro Week archives [Curbed Chicago]

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1. Man on a Bench

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3231 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60616

Photo via IIT
As we detailed earlier this week, a legal quirk makes this park bench and the ground under it on the IIT campus Chicago's tiniest park. At .00124 acres, it'd be hard to play a game of frisbee inside the park itself.

2. Printer's Row Park

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700 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60605

Image via Site Design Group ltd.
This neighborhood park stands in the heart of the Printer's Row community within the South Loop. At .25 acres, the park is just big enough for a plaza with a water fountain and some printing-themed seating, as well as a circular knoll of lawn.

3. Mariano Park

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1031 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Photo via Chicago Parks District
No relation to the grocery store chain, this .25-acre park is mostly taken up by cafe-style seating and a food vendor. The triangle-shaped park is just a few blocks north of the also-triangular Connors Park.

4. Margaret Hie Ding Lin Park

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1735 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60616

Photo via Yelp
Basically just a basketball court, this .37 acre park was built by the city on land being used by elevated train tracks, but has been featured in TV commercials starring Chicago-natives Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose.

5. Connors Park

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861 North Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Photo via Argo Tea
This triangular, half-acre park at the upper end of River North is notable for having a private business inside of it. An Argo Tea shop operates inside the glassy greenhouse, but the land is public property and all comers are welcome.

6. Coliseum Park

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1466 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

Photo via Chicago Parks District
Named for a sports stadium that once stood on the land, Coliseum Park is .62 acres of playground for both children and dogs.

7. Goudy Square Park

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1249 North Astor Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Photo via Chicago Parks District
Just renovated in the fall of 2014, this .64-acre (by our measure) serves the Near North community with playground space.

8. Pritzker Park

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310 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60604

At .7 acres, Pritzker Park is actually the largest park on our list, but it has the distinction of being the only Chicago Park inside the loop itself. With an open plaza and lawn area, this park is a popular respite for both State Street shoppers and students of the dozen-plus universities within walking distance.

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1. Man on a Bench

3231 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60616

Photo via IIT
As we detailed earlier this week, a legal quirk makes this park bench and the ground under it on the IIT campus Chicago's tiniest park. At .00124 acres, it'd be hard to play a game of frisbee inside the park itself.

3231 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60616

2. Printer's Row Park

700 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60605

Image via Site Design Group ltd.
This neighborhood park stands in the heart of the Printer's Row community within the South Loop. At .25 acres, the park is just big enough for a plaza with a water fountain and some printing-themed seating, as well as a circular knoll of lawn.

700 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60605

3. Mariano Park

1031 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60610

Photo via Chicago Parks District
No relation to the grocery store chain, this .25-acre park is mostly taken up by cafe-style seating and a food vendor. The triangle-shaped park is just a few blocks north of the also-triangular Connors Park.

1031 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60610

4. Margaret Hie Ding Lin Park

1735 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60616

Photo via Yelp
Basically just a basketball court, this .37 acre park was built by the city on land being used by elevated train tracks, but has been featured in TV commercials starring Chicago-natives Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose.

1735 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60616

5. Connors Park

861 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Photo via Argo Tea
This triangular, half-acre park at the upper end of River North is notable for having a private business inside of it. An Argo Tea shop operates inside the glassy greenhouse, but the land is public property and all comers are welcome.

861 North Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

6. Coliseum Park

1466 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605

Photo via Chicago Parks District
Named for a sports stadium that once stood on the land, Coliseum Park is .62 acres of playground for both children and dogs.

1466 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

7. Goudy Square Park

1249 North Astor Street, Chicago, IL 60610

Photo via Chicago Parks District
Just renovated in the fall of 2014, this .64-acre (by our measure) serves the Near North community with playground space.

1249 North Astor Street
Chicago, IL 60610

8. Pritzker Park

310 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60604

At .7 acres, Pritzker Park is actually the largest park on our list, but it has the distinction of being the only Chicago Park inside the loop itself. With an open plaza and lawn area, this park is a popular respite for both State Street shoppers and students of the dozen-plus universities within walking distance.

310 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60604