Originally the West Park Commission Administration Building, the Garfield Park Fieldhouse, known to thousands of Chicagoans as the “Gold Dome Building” for its distinctive gold-leaf dome towering over Garfield Park, is a dramatic visual landmark for the surrounding Garfield Park neighborhood.
The Garfield Park Fieldhouse is an architecturally impressive building in the Spanish Baroque Revival style, unusual in the context of Chicago’s architectural history as well as for the Chicago Park District. This visually flamboyant style uses decorative details drawn from historic Spanish Baroque and Spanish Colonial architecture. Characteristic of the style, the Garfield Park Fieldhouse has a richly decorated entrance pavilion with twisted columns, portrait busts and sculptures, and other ornamentation including scallop shells, scrolls, pinnacles, niches, and swirling, naturalistic plant forms. Inside, the Fieldhouse has an ornate two-story rotunda with a
colorful patterned terrazzo floor and marble-clad walls punctuated with sculptural panels.
Built in 1928 as the headquarters for the West Park Commission, the Garfield Park Fieldhouse represents a period in Chicago’s history when the City’s parks were managed by nearly two dozen separate park commissions before their consolidation as the Chicago Park District in 1934. The West Park Administration Building’s conversion to a fieldhouse after 1934 reflects the changing cultural attitudes towards the role of parks in Chicago in the twentieth century as park administrators created and renovated park landscapes and buildings to encourage active, rather than passive, recreational uses.
Photo captured April 27, 2012.
New photos posted on most Mondays through Thursdays.
All photos are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or distributed without my expressed, written consent.