Chicago Park District

541 North Fairbanks Court, 7th Floor

312/742.4786 (phone), 312/742.5391 (fax)

News Release



For immediate release:                                       Contact: Jessica Maxey-Faulkner 312-742-4786


Chicago Park District, Garden Conservancy to Revive Historic Jensen Formal Garden in Humboldt Park


The Chicago Park District, Chicago Parks Foundation is partnering with the Garden Conservancy of New York to make major improvements to Humboldt Park’s historic Jens Jensen Formal Garden.


Members of the Humboldt Park community are joining the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Parks Foundation and the Conservancy in efforts to help provide financial support and advice on a new planting plan and design for the popular park amenity.


Rehabilitating the beautiful and iconic circular garden, completed by the internationally renowned landscape designer Jens Jensen in 1908, will be a grand feat for the national non-profit organization that brings their expertise in garden preservation, design, and management practices.


“We are thrilled to be part of this important effort, as it marks not only our first major preservation project in the upper Midwest and in an urban center, but also the first Jens Jensen-designed garden in our portfolio,” said Garden Conservancy Preservation Committee Chair Susan Lowry. “By rehabilitating this historic garden, the project will also revitalize a much-loved community resource.”


This project aims to repair the garden’s deteriorated infrastructure, rehabilitate its important design features, and to implement a planting design that re-interprets Jensen’s historic planting palette and famous Prairie style. Among the major recommendations for improvements of the site, proposed by the landscape architecture firm Hitchcock Design Group, is the planting of a year-round habitat for native perennials to thrive.


“We are proud to be home to Jensen’s ‘living green parks,’ which continue to serve as natural havens amidst the city bustle,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly. “With the Conservancy’s assistance, not only are we restoring the important design features and spirit of Jensen’s beloved garden, but we are enhancing it by transforming it into an inviting four-season gathering space accessible to patrons all year round.”


The Garden Conservancy is a nonprofit organization established in 1989 by noted plantsmen Frank Cabot to save and share outstanding American gardens for the inspiration and education of the public. The Garden Conservancy fulfills this mission through education programs, a national Open Days garden visitation program, and preservation work, and thereby champions the vital role that gardens play in our history, our culture, and our quality of life.


The Chicago Park District is the 2014 Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,300 acres of parkland, more than 585 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.