A cultural hub, Wilder Park sits in the center of town and is home to Elmhurst Public Library, Elmhurst Art Museum, Wilder Mansion and Wilder Park Conservatory and Formal Wedding Gardens.
The park includes a playground, tennis courts, walking paths and Wilder Park Recreation Building, which hosts a Sunbeams & Rainbows Preschool class.
Wilder Mansion provides an additional 14,000-square-foot space for District and community use. The Wilder Park Conservatory is open all year and hosts stunning floral displays, while the Wilder Park Formal Gardens provide a beautiful setting for weddings.
Features & Amenities
In a publication of the Elmhurst Centennial Historical Committee in 1936, Wilder Park was described as "Elmhurst`s Prettiest Garden Spot," and "a garden spot as beautiful as any in the Middle West."
Originally a cow pasture, this land was undeveloped, leaving a large open space that could be used as a park. When the Elmhurst Park District was created in the spring of 1920, the District immediately entered into negotiations for the entire Wilder estate, which was purchased for $45,000. When Wilder Park first opened, two bricks and a cathedral of elm trees flanked the entrance. Improvements to the estate, which covered two city blocks, began at the north end. A lily pond, landscaped walkways, and playground equipment was installed. An urn that adorned the Cook County Court House and survived the 1871 Chicago Fire rests near the formal gardens. The playground was renovated in 2011.