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The City in a Garden

  • Fourth Presbyterian Church 126 E. Chestnut Chicago, IL (map)

During the late 1830s, when Chicago's nascent local government adopted the motto, "Urbs in horto," a Latin phrase meaning "City in a garden," there were few green spaces or policies to promote park development. The city's slogan, however, has since proved to be prophetic. For more than 175 years, Chicago's citizens have rallied for the creation and protection of parkland, and the city's parks have long served as a national testing ground for revolutionary ideas, programs, and social reform efforts. Nearly a quarter of Chicago's 600 existing parks were created or shaped by some of the nation's most significant architects, landscape designers, and artists, such as Frederick Law Olmsted, Daniel H. Burnham, Jens Jensen, Alfred Caldwell, and Lorado Taft. This presentation by landscape historian Julia Bachrach highlights the fascinating development of Chicago’s parks. For more info, visit

Open to Public (60 years and older)

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Image: Humboldt Park Prairie River, Photo by Julia Bachrac