Mann Park Dedication in 1931
Mann Park is a great asset to the whole
Hegewisch community. It took hard work and determination by many
Hegewisch residents to lobby their local officials to build a park in Hegewisch.
It is located between 130th and 132nd, between Carandolet and Exchange
Avenues. When the people of Hegewisch first proposed the park in
1907, it was disregarded because it conflicted with a railroad. This did
not stop the determined citizens of Hegewisch. After four years of letters
to the alderman, and many protests, the community was finally promised
an outdoor park. The Olmsted brothers immediately adapted an existing plan
for the new park because they felt the people of Hegewisch greatly needed
a park to come together as a community. It took a whopping eighteen years
to negotiate a contract to build a field house, swimming pool, gyms, and
many activity rooms, but it was worth the wait. Almost immediately
after it was built people were going there in search of jobs and leisure
activities. Originally the park was called "Park Number Nine." In
1922, however, it was changed in honor of James R. Mann. He was a congressman
who committed his entire life to a career as a public servant. He
served from 1897 until he died in 1922. Mann Park officially became a part
of the Chicago Park District on May 1, 1934, and since then has been
a important part of Hegewisch community life.
Mayor Richard J. Daley, who served as Mayor
of Chicago from 1955 to 1976, performed his last official act at Mann Park.
He dedicated a new gymnasium in the morning of December 20, 1976 and died
of a heart attack later that same day.
Mann Park Field House at Present
Click on the links at the left to tour
Chicago's Hegewisch Community.