Washington Square Park

Street Address: 
901 N. Clark
Chicago, IL

Bughouse Square (from “bughouse,” slang for mental health facility) is the popular name of Chicago's Washington Square Park, where orators (“soapboxers”) held forth on warm-weather evenings from the 1910s through the mid-1960s. Soapboxers included those from the revolutionary left, especially from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), as well as poets, religionists, and cranks.

In the annual Bughouse Square Festival, participants continue the tradition of public speaking at this location.

Rosemont, Franklin. "Bughouse Square" in the Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago.

Chicago Landmarks

Find out more about Chicago's Free Speech Tradition and about the history of the park.




1842 - 9999

Structure Type

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