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Women's Park & Gardens celebrates Chicago women
2017-09-15

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A years-long project to celebrate accomplished Chicago women as part of the Chicago Women's Park & Gardens in the South Loop was finally unveiled for the public Sept. 14.

The Women's Park & Gardens, with a field house on the corner of 18th and Indiana, and a manicured park out back, was created in the 1990s by the late Chicago Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg, and she is among the 65 women who are recognized in the exhibit. Not all of the women have large-scale photo displays, but they are all included in a booklet available at the field house and online here: www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/assets/1/7/CWP_Brochure_FINAL_reader_082917.pdf .

Among the lesbians featured in the display are playwright Lorraine Hansberry, social justice pioneer Jane Addams and attorney Pearl M. Hart—each of those women are in the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. Florence Kelley, another social reformer, who moved into Jane Addams' Hull House to help in Addams' work, is also among those featured. Ellen Gates Starr, who co-founded Hull House with Addams, and who was in a relationship with Addams, is also included.

The booklet also points out those women who have been honored through the naming of a public space or building in Chicago. Others in the exhibit include Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Jane Byrne, Willye B. White, Koko Taylor, Willie T, Barrow and Gwendolyn Brooks.

The brochure states: "Chicago Women's Park & Gardens honors the many local women throughout history who have made important contributions to the city, nation, and the world. This booklet contains brief introductions to 65 great Chicago women—only a fraction of the many female Chicagoans who could be added to this list. In our selection, we strived for diversity in geography, chronology, accomplishments, and ethnicity. Only women with substantial ties to the City of Chicago were considered. Many other remarkable women who are still living or who lived just outside the City are not included here but are still equally noteworthy."

The list of those include is as follows:

LEADERS & ACTIVISTS

— Grace Abbott

— Jane Addams

— Helen Alvarado

— Joan Fujisawa Arai

— Ida B. Wells-Barnett

— Willie T. Barrow

— Mary Bartelme

— Myra Colby Bradwell

— Sophonisba Breckinridge

— Carrie E. Bullock

— Jane Byrne

— Karen DeCrow

— Helen Doria

— Fannie Hagen Emanuel

— Lillian Herstein

— Nancy Jefferson

— Mary Jane Richardson Jones

— Florence Kelley

— Julia Lathrop

— Eppie Friedman Lederer

— Maria T. Mangual

— Ruth Hanna McCormick

— Angela Perez Miller

— Dawn Clark Netsch

— Bertha Honoré Palmer

— Lucy Ella Gonzales Parsons

— Tobey Prinz

— Guadalupe Reyes

— Maria del Jesus Saucedo

— Ellen Gates Starr

— Mamie Till-Mobley

— Hattie Kay Williams

— Addie Wyatt

VISIONARIES & ARTISTS

— Etta Moten Barnett

— Gwendolyn Brooks

— Margaret T. Burroughs

— Claudia Cassidy

— Maggie Daley

— Katherine Dunham

— Lorraine Hansberry

— Mahalia Jackson

— Ardis Krainik

— Evelyn Beatrice Longman

— Harriet Monroe

— Maria Tallchief Paschen

— Lucy Fitch Perkins

— Viola Spolin

— Koko Taylor

— Lois Weisberg

TRAILBLAZERS & INNOVATORS

— Bessie Coleman

— Margaret Donahue

— Ella Flagg Young

— Frances Glessner Lee

— Maria Goeppert Mayer

— Vivian Gordon Harsh

— Pearl M. Hart

— Harriet Gerber Lewis

— Margaret Hie Ding Lin

— Marion Mahony Griffin

— Archange [Marie] Chevalier Ouilmette

— Esther Rothstein

— Jacqueline Vaughn

— Chi Che Wang

— Kate Warne

— Willye B. White


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