Humboldt Park, a neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, is located on the northwest side of the city. Its borders include Western Avenue to the east, Pulaski Road to the west, Armitage Avenue to the North and Chicago Avenue to the south.
Humboldt Park is also the name of the adjacent park. The area is named after Baron Freidrich Heinrich Alexander Von Humboldt, a famous German naturalist famed for his five-volume work Cosmos: Draft of a Physical Description of the World.
Humboldt Park is linked with several other Westside parks via Chicago’s historic boulevard system. Its 207 acres are home to a pair of bronze bison originally cast for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, as well as lagoons, a historic fieldhouse, areas for field sports and walking paths.
The park’s Prairie School boat house, recently renovated, was named a Chicago Landmark in 1996. Across Division Street, the Humboldt Park Stable and Receptory has been fully restored and is now the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. In 1992, Humboldt Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Once home to German and Italian immigrants, the neighborhood is widely known today for its large Puerto Rican population. Two Puerto Rican flags, cast in steel and standing 59 feet tall, frame a stretch of Division Street called Paseo Boricua – “Paseo” meaning a passageway, and “Boricua,” another term for Puerto Rican.
The eight Puerto Rican restaurants in the district range from modern Puerto Rican cuisine at Coco to La Plena, a humble shop serving Puerto Rican sandwiches. Festivals and parades take place all year long, such as the Fiestas Patronales in June, featuring food, music and cultural events all week.
Chicago Public Schools serves the area; Rowe Clark Math and Science Academy, a CPS high school, is also in Humboldt Park.