Washington Square Park in Chicago
Washington Square, also known as Washington Square Park, is a park in Chicago, Illinois. A registered historic landmark that is better known by its nickname Bughouse Square (derived from the slang of bughouse referring to mental health facilities), it was the most celebrated open air free-speech center in the country as well as a popular Chicago tourist attraction. It is located across Walton Street from Newberry Library at 901 N. Clark Street in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is Chicago's oldest existing small park. It is one of four Chicago Park District parks named after persons surnamed Washington (Washington Park, Harold Washington Park, Dinah Washington Park). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 20, 1991.
On September 4, 1842, the city received a 3 acre parcel that was donated by the members of the American Land Company for use as a public park. The property had once been a cow path with a well for farmers to water their cattle.
The original purpose of the neighborhood park was as a place of assembly to discuss community issues.
Washington Square Park has been the geographic center of Chicago public speeches. By the 1890s the park acquired its Bughouse Square moniker. Soapbox orators waxed on topics ranging from gender relations to Communism.
Washington Square Historic District
Washington Square Historic District is a historic district in Chicago, Illinois that includes Washington Square Park, Chicago. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 21, 2003. The Washington Square District was declared a Chicago Landmark on May 16, 1990. The original 1990 Washington Square Park District Chicago Landmark designation included the park, Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street and 915 to 929 North Dearborn Street. The first Chicago Landmark district extension on July, 10 2002 included 22-28 and 27-31 West Chestnut Street and 802-818, 827-867, 1012, 1023-1029, and 1150-1154 North Dearborn Street. The May 11, 2005 extension added the Isaac Maynard Row Houses located at 119-123 West Delaware Place. The National Register of Historic Places included Washington Square as well as North Dearborn Street from West Walton Street to West Chicago Avenue.
Every July, the Bughouse Square Committee continues to oversee the annual Bughouse Square Debates free speech gathering in conjunction with the Newberry Library’s annual book sale.
- Washington Park forum, also known as the Bug Club.<ref name="EOC316" />
- Washington Park, Chicago
- Washington Square Park (disambiguation)