Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is a quiet, secret-garden-like 3.14 acre oasis tucked away along the northern edge of Lincoln Park Zoo and next to the Lincoln Park Conservatory. The lily pond offers a serene location for engagement photos, proposals and small wedding or elopement ceremonies.
The Lily Pool’s main entrance is located on the south side of Fullerton Parkway near the intersection with Cannon Drive. Open seasonally (mid-April to mid-November) during daylight hours, the garden can be rented for private events and photo sessions.
Engagement session permits cost $100 and the Lily Pool remains open to the public. There are also rental options for private proposal events ($350) and wedding ceremonies ($750) for groups up to 15-people.
The prairie school landscape architecture features limestone stepping paths, circular benches and a wood pavilion representative of Frank Lloyd Wright style.
Since being restored from 1998 to 2002 the Caldwell Lily Pool has been designated a Chicago Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a National Historic Landmark.
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
WHY WE LOVE IT
Though it’s become a bit more popular lately, the Lily Pool still has a bit of a hidden gem feel to it that I love. It’s unlike any other natural area in the city. Despite being just a block or two from some of the busiest streets in the city, the Lily Pool is a great escape.
From a photography standpoint, the lush landscapes offer great backgrounds and creative opportunities for framing. You’ll want to be there at least two hours before sunset to have the best light. And of course the central-feature, the Lily Pond, can make for great reflections.