In 1917, the Chicago City Council authorized the purchase of land at the corner of West Adams and South Hoyne Streets. By 1928, the city had acquired enough additional property to create Touhy-Herbert Park , constructing a playing field, a skating pond, and an office building/shelter house. Twenty years later, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation built a fieldhouse there.
In 1959, the city transferred the park to the Chicago Park District, which purchased additional land to expand the park to its current 8 acres. Since 1961, the park district and the Board of Education have jointly operated the park and the adjacent Herbert Elementary School . As early as 1930, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation referred to this site as Touhy Park , a name that recognized the public service of local resident John J. Touhy (1888-1974).
Touhy served as a city alderman from 1917 until 1926, when he was elected a trustee of the Sanitary District of Chicago. In 1950, he left the Sanitary District to become a Cook County Commissioner. Touhy retired from office in 1970. In 1999, the Chicago Park District officially designated the site Touhy-Herbert Park , a name commonly used by neighbors. The new name, of course, mirrors that of the nearby school, which honors American musician, composer, and conductor Victor Herbert (1859-1924). The New York Times eulogized Herbert as " America 's Leading Composer of Light Opera."
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Posted in Friends of the West Haven Community