About the Park
Chi Che Wang Park is located in Lakeview at the intersection of North Hermitage Avenue and West Wolfram Street, about 2 blocks west of Ashland and one block east of Diversey. Tucked away within a residential neighborhood, the park is a peaceful place to play and socialize. The occasional passing of the Metra train reminds us we are still in the city.
The Park is a great place for any kind of sports as over half the park is open grass. It is also a perfect spot for a picnic.
In 2000, the Chicago Planning Commission approved the creation of a residential planned development in the Paulina Avenue Corridor, an area that had previously been a manufacturing district. Two years later, the Chicago Park District began acquiring a 1.72 acre site in the development to create a park for the new community.
By 2006, laborers “cleaned and greened” the site which included removing industrial debris, planting lawn and trees and fencing the new park.
In 2004, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners named the park in honor of Chi Che Wang, an important scientist and teacher who participated in many civic efforts in Chicago. A few years later, the park was built and developed into what we know it as today.
Who is Chi Che Wang?
Chi Che Wang was born in Soochow, China in 1894. She was sent to the United States by her parents to obtain a good education. Chi Che received her bachelor’s degree from Wesley College in 1914 and came to Chicago to attend the University of Chicago, where she received a Master’s degree in chemistry in 1916 and a Ph.D. in nutrition and chemistry in 1918. Soon after her arrival, Chi Che helped found the Chicago Chinese Women’s Club, a group with which she remained active for a decade. After teaching for several years at the University of Chicago, she became a department head conducting medical research for Michael Reese Hospital. Due to the importance of her work, she was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1922.
Between 1931 and 1940, Chi Che lived in Cincinnati where she researched children’s metabolism. In 1943, she accepted a position as assistant professor of physiology at the Northwestern University Medical School. In this position, she specialized in the study of nephrosis in children, and her research headquarters were at Children’s Memorial Hospital. She left Chicago to work for the Mayo Clinic, but returned several years later when she accepted a position with the Hines Veterans Administration Hospital. Among many civic efforts in which she participated, she provided clinical laboratory demonstrations for the Woman’s World’s Fair in Chicago. Chi Che conducted important work from her research headquarters at Children’s Memorial Hospital, which is less than two miles from the park.
Chi Che Wang Playlot Park is located in Lakeview at the intersection of North Hermitage Avenue and West Wolfram Street.