Illinois State

Historical Society

Certificate of Excellence


Lincoln Park History and Monument Presentation

Lincoln Park, historically Chicago's great place of leisure, is also an outdoor art and history museum. Learn the histories behind the bronze giants of Chicago's largest park in this two-part program. With historical photographs and book highlights, Krista August shares stories about the heroes, the artists, the benefactors, and the unveiling ceremonies. Missing statuary and salient park history are detailed as well.

School Enrichment Program

Krista August, a former teacher  a former docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation, has partnered with several area schools to-date on enrichment programming for students studying Chicago history. Her Giants in the Park slide presentation is adaptable to young learners 3rd grade and up. Krista is presently developing a field trip option for groups wishing to experience the enduring bronze forms up-close. Both programs may be complemented with the use of "Giants in the Park ACTIVITY BOOK for growing giants."​ 

Chicago Writers Association

Book of the Year


 “'Giants in the Park' is an essential item for any Chicago lover’s bookshelf.” 

-- Rick Kogan, WGN

“This lovely book, which is accented by the author’s watercolors of the statues, belongs on everyone’s Chicago-history bookshelf.”

-- Greg Borzo, author

“Giants” is “a passionate, personal project (combining history, art, love of Chicago, love of books), beautifully executed."

-- Sharon Woodhouse, publisher

Great Book!
Hi Krista, I just finished reading Giants in the Park, and I wanted to pass along my praise. The book struck an excellent balance between being well-researched, thorough, concise, and entertaining. In each chapter, you did a really good job of selecting material that would interest readers. I really enjoyed reading it.

Your Presentation
Bought book last night. Husband loves it. Thank you

Yesterday's Tour
Hi Krista, Our tour with you yesterday was terrific! There is so much interesting history in the monuments in the Lincoln Park that we were unaware of. Thanks for making this history come alive!

Schedule a Presentation

Purchase the Books


Lincoln Park

Giants in the Park ACTIVITY BOOK is designed to engage young students with coloring pages, text highlighting notable history, and multidisciplinary activities. In many instances growing giants are directed to museum and learning sites on the Internet for further enrichment.
      It was the statues and their histories that determined the learning opportunities, so the exercises vary with respect to age level. The lessons are meant to be thought provoking, with the hope that young learners will be inspired to explore further in countless additional directions, according to their interests and curiosities.
     Eight of the park’s seventeen portrait statues are featured with learning activities, and an additional five monuments are highlighted with coloring pages. Less common words are introduced in the text to help young readers grow their vocabularies, while a glossary is provided to support student understanding.

Giants in the Park is a history guide for the monuments in Lincoln Park, Chicago's largest and, historically, most important park. Giants encountered with this walking tour guidebook include Lincoln, La Salle, Grant, Sheridan, Schiller, Goethe, Altgeld … seventeen portrait statues in all. Missing monuments and salient park history are documented as well.
    ‘Lincoln the Man’ is the most important statue on the tour and is a masterpiece of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the ranking American sculptor of his era. Saint-Gaudens’s Lincoln was groundbreaking when unveiled in 1887. With the inclusion of the classical chair behind the standing Lincoln and with its elaborate base designed by architect Stanford White, it is much more than the typical portrait statue.
    Of all the park’s monuments, our La Salle bronze is the most significant to Chicago’s history. At it’s unveiling in 1889, La Salle was celebrated as the man “to whose geographical discoveries American civilization owes a heavy debt.” After being the first white-man to travel the full-length of the Mississippi River in 1682, La Salle returned to the Chicago portage the following winter, where in his journal, he predicted the rise of a great city.
    The history behind each and every monument is unique and exciting. Throughout the book, interesting connections exist to a wide variety of topics and early Chicago personalities: the Columbian Exposition of 1893, the Haymarket affair, the Great Chicago Fire, the Civil War, early Chicago ethnic groups, the park’s cemetery years, Charles Yerkes, Frances Willard, Mayor Carter Harrison and much more.
    Lincoln Park’s monumental art invites us to explore the old: to study the heroes of our Chicago forefathers; and through examining the realization of their likenesses, to glimpse moments and ideals from our great city’s youth.

Giants in the Park

Recommended for grades 3 and up

Giants in the Park

Upcoming Events:

​Printers Row Lit Fest

(IL Women's Press Assoc tent)

June 11-12

Indian Trails Public Library

June 16, 12:00,  Giants Part I

July 14, 12:00, Giants Part II

Chicago History Museum

Member Walking Tour

July 7, 5:30 PM Giants in the Park

Bike Tour

August 14, 9:30 AM

Riverside Library

August 3, 7:00, Part I

Sulzer Library

August 4, 7:00, Giants Part I

August 18, 7:00, Giants Part II