Dvorak Park Advisory Council
In 1907, during an era of major political reform, the West Park Commission began creating its first three neighborhood parks, Dvorak, Eckhart, and Stanford Parks. These were inspired by a revolutionary system of parks that opened in 1905 to provide breathing space and social services to overcrowded immigrant neighborhoods on Chicago's south side. The need for such facilities was even greater on the west side. Because of this population density, the commissioners could only acquire small pieces of property. Dvorak Park was originally only 3.85 acres in size. In recognition of the area's large Bohemian population, the West Park Commission named the park for Anton Dvorak (1841-1904), the famous Czech composer. Jens Jensen, then the West Park Commission's general superintendent and chief landscape designer, developed the original plan for Dvorak Park. Jensen included all of the major components introduced in the south side neighborhood parks: swimming and wading pools, changing rooms and shower baths, an athletic field, a playground, outdoor gymnasiums, and a fieldhouse. Unlike the south side parks, Jensen's neighborhood parks included children's gardens and Prairie-style architecture. Dvorak Park's fieldhouse and bathhouse were designed by William Carbys Zimmerman, who then served as State Architect. In 1999, the Chicago Park District expanded the park by acquiring an adjacent parcel of land. The expansion includes a new walkway and soccer fields.