50th Ward Parks

Lerner Park

Address: 7000 N. Sacramento Ave.

Phone: (773) 761-0380


This 8.49 acre park is located in the West Ridge neighborhood (two blocks west of California Avenue, five blocks south of Touhy Avenue). It contains a large open green space, two tennis courts, and a playground with sandbox.

Lerner Park sits on a remnant of the West Ridge community’s once-thriving brick-making industry. Drawn by the area’s natural deposits of clay and sand, brick-makers increasingly located in the western portion of the community after 1900. Their workers soon followed, building bungalows in the surrounding area. By mid-century, the local brick industry had faded, but population was surging. To meet the recreational needs of West Ridge residents, the Chicago Park District purchased this former clay pit from the Illinois Brick Company in 1962. The Park District improved the over 8-acre site in 1964 and 1965. The Park District and the Chicago Board of Education agreed to jointly operate the new park and adjacent Stephen Decatur Elementary School, but the project was short-lived.

In 1966, the park was named for Leo Lerner (1908–1965), an eminent author, publisher, and public-spirited citizen. Publisher of the Lerner Neighborhood Newspapers, Lerner also served as Chairman of the Board of Roosevelt University and as a member of the State Pardon and Parole Board.