Hartigan Beach offers beach goers a relaxing respite for the summer in Chicago. Many visitors refer to this beach by previous names or the names of adjacent parks and streets, including Albion, Columbia, North Shore or Pratt.
Please follow the rules while you’re at the beach:
- Swim only when lifeguards are on duty.
- Follow lifeguards’ instructions.
- Only Coast Guard approved flotation devices are permitted.
- No smoking.
- No alcohol.
- No dogs on the beach.
- Do not feed birds or wildlife.
- Dispose of trash and recycling in appropriate containers.
- Grill in designated areas only and dispose of coals in red barrels.
- Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted in these areas.
- There is no paddle or board sport access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail at Hartigan Beach. For information on beaches with launch points for accessing the Lake Michigan Water Trail, visit the rules page.
This park site was long known as Albion Beach and Park for its location on Albion Street, where, atypically for Rogers Park, single-family residences lined the block approaching the lakeshore.
In September 1960, the Chicago City Council adopted a resolution requesting that the park district rename Albion Park in honor of 49th Ward Alderman David L. Hartigan (1906-1959), who had recently died.
A graduate of St. Ignatius and Northwestern Law School, Hartigan was an attorney in the City Treasurer's Office between 1943 and 1954, and served briefly as City Treasurer. After being elected alderman in 1955, Hartigan sat on the Committee on Forestry and Recreation, and was very active in creating additional parks and recreational space.
The Chicago Park District officially renamed the park Hartigan Beach and Park in 1965.
Hartigan Beach and Park is one of 18 street-end beaches acquired by the Chicago Park District from the City of Chicago in 1959. The city's Bureau of Parks and Recreation was operating 27 such beaches by 1937; some were in existence as early as 1921. Although lifeguards staffed these small municipal beaches, they had no changing rooms or other facilities.
In Rogers Park, the beaches meet the summertime recreational needs of the many residents who lived in the attractive brick apartment buildings built in the eastern portion of the community.