A news report from Tatum Bartlett, Center Square Journal
For families who live near Northcenter’s Filbert Playlot Park (1822 W. Larchmont Avenue), the park is the only playground within a seven-block radius. In addition, three area schools and daycare facilities rely on the park for daily use. The City of Chicago acquired the property on which the playground now sits in 1959. Later that year it was transferred to the Chicago Park District, and in 1973 it was officially designated Filbert Park.
The pocket playlot, wedged up against the Irving Park Brown Line, stands as worn and tired as the El tracks that hover above. Weeds have grown so large that many resemble trees, the drinking fountain is rendered unusable due to unsanitary conditions, potholes scatter the concrete, graffiti covers benches and railings, and decay and mold have consumed much of the splinter-ridden wooden play equipment. Additionally, the playground is without a security gate (posing a safety hazard for quick-footed toddlers), while the appearance of a guest rat or two (the park lies adjacent to an alley lined with several dumpsters) is not uncommon. The neglected playground has indeed seen better days: That’s why area families are often compelled to drive or walk a distance to other neighborhood parks.