Pass through the prairie-style Fullerton Gate and enter an unprecedented beautiful hidden garden. Only the birdsong and the tranquil waterfall can break the tranquility. Explore the pavilion, town hall ring and various native plants along the stone path that surrounds the water lily pond. This is the vision of the landscape architect Alfred Caldwell. Chicago’s Hidden People’s Garden is designed as a meandering river through the Midwestern prairie.
In 1997 we adopted Lily Pool and partnered with the Chicago Park District to develop a master plan to restore Caldwell’s historic landscape and improve transportation. The $ 2.4 million project began construction in 2000, was renamed Lilypool and opened to the public in the spring of 2002. The restoration work has once again become a “cool, cool and empty place”, allowing the site to obtain United States National Historic Landmark status and Chicago Historic Landmark. Since then, we have faithfully maintained this place.
The site of Alfred Caldwell’s Lilypool was originally part of a Victorian garden built in 1889 and displayed tropical lilies and other aquatic plants. When the Victorian garden became less popular, the Lily Pool was destroyed and it was not until 1936 that Alfred Caldwell redesigned the pool and its surroundings.