DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Lin Park is ready for play

Renovated Lin Park is ready for play

DePaul and Chicago Park District teamed up to renovate the park

Group cutting ribbon on Lin Park basketball court
DePaul joined the Chicago Park District and Ald. Pat Dowell June 24, 2022 to celebrate the opening of Margaret Hie Ding Lin Park. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

Tucked beneath the El train tracks, Lin Park’s iconic basketball courts are now sporting Blue Demon colors. Last week, DePaul joined the Chicago Park District, Ald. Pat Dowell and Near South community members to cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Margaret Hie Ding Lin Park. Located at 1735 S. State St., the public park features resurfaced basketball courts and will provide opportunities for programming for the community. DePaul invested in Lin Park as a legacy project for the upcoming 125th anniversary celebrations. It is located less than a mile from Wintrust Arena, home to DePaul men’s and women’s basketball.

The park first opened in 1970 and is named for Dr. Margaret Hie Ding Lin, a physician who worked in the nearby Chinatown neighborhood. In his remarks, DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, acknowledged the park’s namesake.

“Dr. Lin, just like myself and many of our students, was an immigrant who served her community,” Esteban said. He noted DePaul also seeks to widen access to students in our community. “That’s why it’s important to us on our 125th anniversary to give back, in as many ways as we can,” he said. 

Local leaders called the makeover a valuable improvement to the facility and a welcome upgrade for park visitors and aspiring athletes seeking access to better quality public urban spaces to engage in active recreation and play.

"Lin Park has been an indispensable resource in the South Loop neighborhood for many years. This facility has hosted basketball games, community events, and not to mention, the number of times it has been the backdrop for commercials and films," Dowell said​.

In addition to the revamped basketball court, the renovation includes a new half court facility, new bleachers, benches, lighting and a drinking fountain. Updated landscape and ADA accessibility improvements are also part of the overall renovation. Esteban and others thanked Dowell for her leadership in championing the park.

Lin Park is renowned as a “national urban basketball treasure,” said Rosa Escareño, Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO. “Through our collaboration and partnership, we’ve been able to renovate this facility, make it accessible, and expand it, allowing the community to maximize the use of this small space.”

Children from the local community helped officials cut the ribbon. Then they took to the courts, playing as DePaul coaches Doug Bruno and Tony Stubblefield rebounded and DIBS and members of the spirit squad cheered them on. DePaul plans to provide ongoing stewardship of the park, with potential Athletics programming for youth, community events and clean-up during Vincentian Service Day.