Chicago Landmarks

Washington Square District

Park, Circa 1909     Address: Washington Square Park, 22-28 and 27-31 West Chestnut Street, 802-18, 827-929, 1012, 1023-29 and 1150-54 North Dearborn Street, and 60 W. Walton St.
Year Built:
Architect: Various
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: May 16, 1990

Scottish Rite Cathedral, photo by Lisa Napoles Block of 800 N. Dearborn St. Dating from 1842, when developer Orasmus Bushnell donated the land to the city, Washington Square is one of Chicago's oldest extant parks. The district includes the Newberry Library, the former Unity Church (now the Scottish Rite Cathedral), and a rare collection of elaborate masonry dwellings built for Chicago's elite during the City's post-Fire rebuilding period in the late 19th century. These buildings, the largest group of early post-Fire residences remaining in Chicago, were designed by some of the city's earliest, best architects, including Henry Ives Cobb, Edward Burling, Dankmar Adler, Treat & Folst, Frederick and Edward Baumann, Adolph Cudell, and William Le Baron Jenney. The park later became popularly known as "Bughouse Square," when it became a public forum for soapbox orators.

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