Harris Recreational Center

This page is presented by the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Parks Committee and website, www.hydepark.org. Parks Chairman Gary Ossewaarde. Join the Conference and support our work.

Parks home. Other Parks.

New interim PAC officers- Lola Gray, President; Wanda Newton, Vice President.

Meetings- tba
(much progress has been made already).

The Harris center, 6200 S. Drexel, 312 747-2706.
Advisory Council
See below about new mural by youth, unveiling concert

The Center Director is Gerald Washington. It has a newly active council that is settling its schedule. It met October 17 2016 to organize and identify a fixit list-- a lengthy one.
Next meeting November 7, Monday, 6 pm at the Center.

Harris will be expanding its space and programs.
Sign up now for day camp, teen basketball, Adventure recreation (at Bynam Island in Washington Park). June 25-August 3.

The former name of the new park is No. 521. Following public comment, the Park District has permanently named the park for Harriet M. Harris, the social worker who gave so much of herself to Woodlawn and other communities and for whom the WYCA that was the center of the park is named.

Stellar features. A wonderful indoor swimming pool. Fitness Center. Lobby areas beautifully appointed with fine murals and fit for meetings. Upstairs program, multipurpose, social service and meeting rooms.

The Harris Recreational Center at 6200 S. Drexel in Woodlawn has been the Harris District YWCA, which will continue its long service to the community. Among its facilities is a day care center. In 2002 the Park District decided to purchase the facility in a special partnership with the Y, partly because to make its indoor pool available to general public in the neighborhood and a South Side with few such facilities. A refurbished recreation facility with a pool will also allow enhanced and combined programs with other parks, particularly Midway and Washington.

Because of certain constraints, including the need/opportunity to provide a kitchen for the day care center, rehab took longer than originally expected, but the facility formally opened July 15. The plans and programming are reviewed by a very active advisory council. The Harris Center is managed by the Southeast Region of the Chicago Park District, Area Manager A.J. Jackson.

The council is very sorry to learn that the WYCA social programs are being shut down.



Talent of area youth artists to grace Harris YMCA

Students of the Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization
(MAGIC) will be on hand at noon Friday, July 14 to unveil a 20 by 30
foot mural that will grace an entire wall at the Harris YMCA, 6200 S.
Drexel Ave.

The mural includes images of historic African Americans from the
Woodlawn area —including entertainer Oscar Brown Jr., pilot Bessie
Coleman, writer Sam Greenlee, and the Bishop Arthur Brazier—and will
be unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the new Chicago
Park District Harris YMCA. The students, ages 12-18, created the mural
at the Washington Park District building as part of the After School
Matters Program directed by Maggie Daley, wife of Chicago Mayor Richard
M. Daley. MAGIC is a Woodlawn-based organization that chose the Harris
facility for the
display because it is located in Woodlawn.

“The students learned to create something they probably never thought
they could create,” said MAGIC executive director Brian Echols. “They
tapped into a deep talent, and they connected with historic figures who
demonstrated they can accomplish anything they want to, if they give it
a good effort.” To interview students or to get information on MAGIC or
its arts program, contact (773) 290-2313.

Contact: Bryan Echols (773).290-2313
July 11, 2006