David R. Phillips: Chicago Park District Photographs
Scope and Contents
While some of the images in this collection also appear in the Chicago Park District Records: Photographs collection at Chicago Public Library, many are unique. 23 of Chicago’s earliest parks are represented. Images show park construction progress, fieldhouses, aerial views, and people enjoying the parks. Celebrated photographers appear in the collection including J.W. Taylor, Kaufmann & Fabry and George Lawrence.
Of particular note are the panoramic views of park construction by J.W. Taylor taken in 1904. During this time period, the South Park Commission was busy implementing its revolutionary plan to build small parks close to where people lived, providing relief to overcrowded, working class, immigrant neighborhoods. These panoramic views capture this process.
- 1872 - 1963
- Geo. R. Lawrence Co. (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Biographical / Historical
David R. Phillips was born February 25, 1931. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and became interested in photography at a young age. He was chief photographer for Monsanto Chemical Company in St. Louis before moving to Chicago and becoming a freelance photographer. In addition to a successful commercial photography business, Phillips became a collector of historical photographs and photographic negatives. This work in historical photography led him to write three history books and to produce television shows on the history of Chicago and various aspects of photography and cinematography history. Phillips also taught photography courses at Illinois Institute of Technology, and he curated a number of photographic exhibits on Chicago history.
.5 Linear Feet (in 1 box, 106 photographic images)
Language of Materials
This collection of photographs features 23 of the Chicago Park District's earliest parks, showing park construction, fieldhouses, aerial views and people enjoying the parks. Celebrated photographers appear in the collection including J.W. Taylor, Kaufmann & Fabry and George Lawrence. Of particular note are the panoramic views of park construction by J.W. Taylor taken in 1904 that capture the South Park Commission implementing its revolutionary plan to build small parks close to overcrowded, working class, immigrant neighborhoods.
Files are arranged alphabetically by park name.
Learning of the Chicago Park District’s transfer of its historic archives to Chicago Public Library Special Collections, Mr. Phillips combed through his impressive personal collection and gathered together images of Chicago parks to donate to Chicago Public Library. This is the resulting collection.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by David R. Phillips in 2017.
Mr. Phillips also donated a bound volume entitled, The Phillips Family: Descendants of Philip Philipse de Moer, Albany, New York, 1650-2013, and related families, by David R. Phillips, 2014. This genealogical study of Phillips’s own ancestors has been cataloged and is available through Special Collections at Call #: CS71.P556P55 2014.
- Guide to the David R. Phillips: Chicago Park District Photographs
- Johanna Russ. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2021.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository
Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States