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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chicago from A to Z...K is for Kenwood...L is for Lincoln Park Zoo

Good afternoon!! I know I'm getting a terribly late start, but things got in my way. I hate real life sometimes. Anyway, for the Big A To Z today I'm taking you to the famous Kenwood neighborhood on the near South Side, then up north to one of my favorite places, the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Blackstone Library Wikimedia

K Is For Kenwood

Located on the near South Side, Kenwood lies just north of Hyde Park and the University of Chicago along the Lakefront to the east and Cottage Grove Avenue to the west. It was settled in the 1850's by wealthy Chicagoans looking to escape the congestion of the ever growing city. The area is named after John A. Kennicott, the first resident who named his home Kenwood after his family's ancestral estate in Scotland. Kenwood is the neighborhood that President Barack Obama calls home and it has indeed had many famous residents including actor Mandy Patinkin, Muhammad Ali, Julius Rosenwald of Sears, Roebuck and Company and Bill Veeck, former owner of the Chicago White Sox. There have also been some infamous residents. Murderers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were from Kenwood as well as their unfortunate victim, Bobby Franks.

The neighborhood has many unique features including an area known as the Indian Village. Here all the buildings are named in honor of the local tribes that once populated this area. The Powhatan Apartments have the only 24 hour elevator operator position in the city. Another landmark, the Blackstone Library was opened in 1902, making it one of the oldest branches in the Chicago Public Library system. It is a beautiful neighborhood with some fascinating walks, if you come visit, I'll take you for a stroll, then take you to Medici's for pizza.
Entry to Lincoln Park Zoo Wikimedia (BTW those birds are sculptures)

L Is For Lincoln Park Zoo

Ah the Lincoln Park Zoo...Here is one of my absolute favorite places in the city. It opened in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States as well as one of the largest free zoos in the world. The first animals in the zoo were a pair of swans from the Central Park Zoo and a bear from the Philadelphia Zoo. It now houses over 1100 animals, including Keo, the oldest male chimpanzee in North America. There is also a large burr oak tree here that dates from about 1830, seven years before Chicago was incorporated.

Marlin Perkins, of Wild Kingdom fame, served as the zoo's director from 1944 to 1962 and helped create the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, a citizens group that fundraises and supports the zoo's operations. My favorite place inside the zoo are the penguins and polar bears as well as the Nature Walk along the South Pond. It is a stunning place to have fun and enjoy a great summer day. You can also enjoy the place in winter with Zoo Lights and caroling to the animals.

Ready to see Kenwood? Take a stroll at the Lincoln Park Zoo? I hope so. Happy A to Zing and thank you for stopping by. Please visit my fellow challengers by clicking at the top left or here.


  1. Marlin Perkins was the director? How awesome! That would be a cool zoo to visit.
    And naming the buildings after all the local tribes was a nice gesture.

    1. It is a very cool zoo to visit and best of all its a great place to just hang out and enjoy yourself. It's very visitor friendly with lots of benches and green space. I was surprised to learn about Marlin, too. gives it a certain cache. :)

  2. That zoo is beautiful Melissa. I'm sure Marlin left his mark on it.

  3. Love a good library... and zoo. I'm sold!

  4. I loved Wild Kingdom! Watched it every Sunday as a child. Okay, I watched every animal show out there. I would love to visit that zoo.

  5. Well Kenwood certainly looks like a beautiful area of the city. Put that on our list this summer, Sweets...

    AH, the Lincoln Park Zoo... How many happy hour I've spent there in the ten years I lived in this city...

    It's one of my FAVORITE if not THE FAVORITE places to haunt. I live only a short fifteen minute walk away and stroll through it in all kinds of weather. I actually saw FLAMINGOS out the other day in our chilly/freezing weather. Odd for tropical birds... But I guess they adapted to the cold here as we all MUST...

    Looking forward to seeing your tomorrow!

  6. Oh, I want to visit you! I'll dress in red-you too and we will attract the red Cardinals you love! Your father and my grandmother will flock to us~

    I hope you are doing well!

  7. I'd like to lunch at Lincoln Park Zoo with some Dana Brown Safari Coffee, and check out Kenwood with a nice constitutional after!


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