Park History

Haas Park honors Joseph F. Haas (1857-1928), a widely-respected public servant. Over his 42-year career in public office, Haas was a school trustee in the Town of Jefferson, a Chicago alderman, Secretary of the Sanitary District, a state senator, Cook County Clerk, Cook County Recorder, and Secretary of the West Park Commission. The city purchased the land for this park just two months after Haas' death in 1928, and completed park plans before year's end. At the time, the surrounding Logan Square neighborhood was in the midst of a residential building boom. Large courtyard apartment buildings were springing up beside existing graystones, and open space was quickly disappearing. The new park included a small recreational building with an open-air shelter house, which the city's Department of Parks and Recreation enclosed around 1947. The city transferred the park site, along with more than 250 others, to the Chicago Park District in 1959.

As participation in park programs continued to grow, work to expand the size of the park began in the late 1990's. A fateful, early effort to expand the park eastward sought to condemn and acquire the commercial buildings between Washtenaw Ave. and Talman Ave. While the intent was honorable, the businesses including Midas Muffler, Fireside Bowl and Oscar Wastyn's Cycles, opposed the plan. This proposal was put to rest in early 2004 by newly-elected Alderman Manny Flores.

That summer, a new partnership emerged with an alternative plan to expand the park to the west. The Trust for Public Land acted quickly to acquire the vacant World Wide Distributors building and later sold this site to the Park District. Unlike the previous plan, this proposal had wide support, and has helped to unite the community and improve access to open space in one of the city's most developed areas.

A brand new tot lot was completed in spring 2007 and Fairfield Ave. was closed to automobile traffic in July, 2008 to connect the park and the new expansion land. A new, $10 million 'green' fieldhouse is planned on the current ballfield.