Chicago Park District historian Julia Bachrach directed us to Union Park, located at 1501 W. Randolph St.
We met Bachrach there, against the backdrop of kids playing on the playground and people jogging. During a short tour, she explained what the park was like in the late 1800s, and how, like many American parks at that time, it had a zoo or, more accurately, a menagerie.
“It really was looked at like a collection of animals, something to entertain the people who came to use the park,” she said. “They weren’t at all thinking about the needs of the animals or what it would take to take proper care of them.”