Oriole Park takes its name from the surrounding subdivision in the Norwood Park community. As late as 1930, it was a sparsely-settled, semi-rural area. Lying a mile from the Northwestern Railway's Norwood Park station, the neighborhood began to fill with single-family homes in the 1920s, when newly-affordable automobiles allowed middle-class families to move further out.
Oriole Park was created by the Edison Park District, one of 22 independent park boards consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. Several years before the consolidation, a committee of the 77th Avenue Improvement Club urged the Edison Park District to create a playground along Oriole Avenue. The local park district purchased the land in mid-1931. By late the following year, the city had vacated an adjacent alley, bringing the park to 2.29 acres. The Edison Park District considered constructing a softball field on the property, but made few improvements to the swampy site. Still, local children used the new park enough to prompt a neighboring farmer to ask that a fence be erected to prevent stray baseballs from ruining his crops.
Not long after the 1934 transfer to the Chicago Park District, a softball diamond and a playground were installed at Oriole Park. After World War II, the park district added more than 16 acres to the park in anticipation of increased population expected because of construction of the Northwest Highway. For a time, the park district and the Chicago Board of Education provided joint programming at the park and the adjacent Oriole Park School. This co-operative relationship ended in the early 1970s, when a large fieldhouse was constructed in the park. During the 1990s, the park received a new soft surface playground and an interactive waterplay area.