Editor's Note: Join us as we profile prominent places in town that are unique to Elmhurst. Here's a look at Wilder Park and its many amenities.
Described as "Elmhurst's Prettiest Garden Spot" in a 1936 publication of the Elmhurst Centennial Historical Committee, Wilder Park still is a popular draw more than seven decades later.
Located in the center of town at 211 S. Prospect Ave., Wilder Park is home to the Elmhurst Art Museum and the Lizzadro Museum, the Elmhurst Public Library, Veterans Memorial, Wilder Mansion, the Wilder Park Conservatory, picnic areas, tennis courts, a playground, landscaped walkways and greenhouses.
Wilder Park was the first park acquired by the Elmhurst Park District in 1921. In 1997, it was named the No. 1 Suburban Park in Chicago Magazine.
Wilder Park Conservatory, 225 Prospect Ave., is open all year and features a variety of flora. The Wilder Park Formal Gardens has been host to a number of weddings. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 1 through March 31, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 1 through Dec. 31.
Wilder Mansion has become a popular setting for weddings, receptions, corporate functions, meetings, showers, rehearsal dinners, holiday parties, banquets and brunches. Wilder Mansion is available seven days a week, with rental packages that include use of the entire Mansion or specific rooms. Last spring, Wilder Mansion was voted one of the best Ceremony and Reception Venues within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings and Weddingbee.
Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S Cottage Hill Ave., specializes in late 20th century American art, with an emphasis on local contemporary artists. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The museum is closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is $5 for adults, and $3 for seniors and students. Children under 5 are free. Friday is free admission day at the museum.
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, 220 Cottage Hill Ave., features a collection of minerals, hard stone carvings, and rocks along with its collection of jade. The museum also houses a Florentine Mosaic, Diorama, Roman Mosaic, a multi-colored Ewer, Jadeite and Nephrite. Group tours, private rentals, and museum memberships are available. Museum hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The museum is closed Monday. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors 60 and up, $2 for students and teens, and $1 for children 7 to 12. Children under 7 are free. Friday is free admission day at the museum. For more information, visit www.lizzadromuseum.org.
For more information about Wilder Park and its museums, visit www.epd.org/parks/wilder-park.asp.