Hyde Park, Chicago

Hyde Park, Chicago

Hyde Park, located on the South Side of Chicago, in Cook County, Illinois, United States and seven miles (11 km) south of the Chicago Loop, is a Chicago neighborhood and one of 77 Chicago community areas. It is home to the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Oriental Institute and The Renaissance Society. It is formerly the name of a Township that included numerous other neighborhoods that have all been annexed by the city of Chicago.

Hyde Park was founded by Paul Cornell in the 1850s near the Illinois Central Railroad south of Chicago. In 1861, the Hyde Park Township was incorporated, extending from 39th to 63rd Streets. The southern border was later extended as far as South 138th Street and as far west as State Street. The township was independent of Chicago until 1889, when it was annexed to the city. [http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3716.html]

As a neighborhood, Hyde Park's definition has shrunk to a core area grouped closely around Cornell's development on 53rd Street and the lakefront. Today, the name Hyde Park is officially applied to the neighborhood from 51st Street ("Hyde Park Blvd.") to the neighborhood around Midway Plaisance Blvd. or simply "The Midway" (between 59th and 60th) [ [http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&z=17&ll=41.786769,-87.598253&spn=0.004776,0.010386&om=1 Google map of the area] ] The neighborhood's eastern boundary is Lake Michigan and its western boundary is Washington Park.

Some consider Hyde Park to include the area between 47th and 51st Streets ("E. Hyde Park Blvd."), [Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce 2007-2008 Member Directory, Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, pp. 32-33, 2007.] although this area is actually the south half of the Kenwood community area. The area encompassing Hyde Park and South Kenwood is also referred to as "Hyde Park-Kenwood." [ [http://www.hydepark.org/ Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference] ] It hosts two of the four Chicago Registered Historic Places from the original October 15, 1966 National Register of Historic Places list (Chicago Pile-1, & Robie House).cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2007-01-23|accessdate=2008-07-18|work=National Register of Historic Places database download |publisher=National Park Service]

"The Hyde Park Herald", a local newspaper, has covered neighborhood news since 1882.

History (Hyde Park)

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Cornell_(lawyer) Paul Cornell] , a successful businessman, real-estate speculator, and abolitionist, purchased convert|300|acre|km2 of land between 51st and 55th Streets along the Lake Michigan lakefront and the Illinois Central Railroad in the 1850s,Eds. Grossman, James R., Keating, Ann Durkin, and Reiff, Janice L., 2004 "The Encyclopedia of Chicago", p. 404. The University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-31015-9] with the hope of attracting other Chicago businessmen and their families to the area. Some of Cornell's associates, including the sheriff, used their houses in Hyde Park as stops on the underground railroad. The neighborhood was seven miles (11 km) south of downtown Chicago, and enjoyed weather tempered by Lake Michigan; cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Cornell parceled out the land and successfully negotiated for a rail depot at 53rd St to lure guests to The Hyde Park House, a hotel he built to serve as the neighborhood's social epicenter. The hotel served as the popular focal point of most community activity from the 1850s until it burned in an 1879 fire. It was visited by popular and well-to-do guests, including the newly widowed Mary Todd Lincoln. In 1917, a new structure was erected on the site of the hotel. It is now a condominium building called the Hampton House.

In the early 1890s, with the founding of The University of Chicago by John D. Rockefeller, Hyde Park began to make its mark. In 1893, Hyde Park hosted the World's Columbian Exposition. While the fair covered hundreds of acres, the only structure left today is Charles Atwood's Palace of Fine Arts, which has since been converted into Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.The University of Chicago, with leadership from William Rainey Harper, its first president, and large financial contributions from John D. Rockefeller, quickly became one of the nation's best universities, which has had over 80 Nobel prize winners associated with it. The University of Chicago continues to dominate the neighborhood physically and politically.Fact|date=August 2008

By the 1930s, Hyde Park was prospering as a popular hotel and resort area boasting over 100 hotels, including a dozen elaborate structures on the lakefront. By the 1940s, following the Depression and during the war, some of these hotels began to cater to a less affluent and transient population. Many were later converted to apartment and condominium buildings. A thriving artists' colony on 57th Street led to the founding of the 57th Street Art Fair in 1948, which continues as Chicago's oldest juried art fair. [Julie Richman and Mary Louise Womer, "Chicago's 57th Street Art Fair", 57th Street Art Fair Committee Publishers, 1997]

By the 1950s, Hyde Park was suffering from the economic decline that was affecting much of the South Side -- a decline that began during and after World War I, with the Great Migration of African-Americans from the southern to the northern states. Large numbers of these migrants, traveling to Chicago, settled in Hyde Park, which then offered inexpensive but substandard housing. The result was the University of Chicago's controversial sponsorship of one of the largest urban-renewal plans in the nation, organized via the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, with the goal of creating an "interracial community of high standardsFact|date=February 2007."

In the 1960s, as a result of the project, Hyde Park's average income soared by 70%, but its Black population fell by 40%, since the substandard housing for poorer Blacks and other minorities had been purchased, torn down, and replaced, and these residents could not afford to remain in the newly-rehabilitated areas. On the other hand, middle-class Blacks were offered increased opportunities for employment and home-ownership. The project meant that Hyde Park did not experience the same economic depression that occurred in neighboring areas, such as Woodlawn, Washington Park, and Oakland. Also, it ensured that it remained a very racially-diverse neighborhoodFact|date=February 2007.

Notable residents

Notable Hyde Park residents have includedFact|date=July 2008:
*Elijah Muhammad
*Muhammad Ali
*William Ayers
*Saul Bellow
*Clarence Darrow
*Bernardine Dohrn
*Eugene Fama
*Louis Farrakhan
*Marshall Field
*Francis Fukuyama
*Hugh Hefner
*Mahalia Jackson
*Barack Obama
*John Paul Stevens
*Swami Vivekananda
*Harold Washington
*Jody Watley
*Gilbert F. White
*Jay Noel Yuenger of White Zombie

The neighborhood has produced three U.S. Senators: Paul Douglas, Carol Moseley Braun, and Barack Obama. The neighborhood contains buildings designed by such famous architects as Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Mies van der Rohe, Rafael Vinoly, and Frank Lloyd Wright.


Hyde Park is home to a number of higher education institutions:
* The University of Chicago
* The Catholic Theological Union, a seminary of 28 Roman Catholic religious orders ("not" the diocesan seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago)
* The Chicago Theological Seminary, a seminary of the United Church of Christ
* The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
* The McCormick Theological Seminary, a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
* The Meadville Lombard Theological School, a seminary of the Unitarian Universalist Association
* The Vivekananda Vedanta Society Chicago
* Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture, a non-profit and experiential education program for college students who want to 'study abroad' in Chicago
*The Oriental Institute within the University of Chicago
*The The DuSable Museum of African American History, although just outside of the neighborhood in Washington Park, has a long association with the community.

Location and transportation


The neighborhood is connected to the rest of the city by both Chicago Transit Authority and Metra transportation services. CTA bus services include:
* 1 - Indiana/Hyde Park
* 2 - Hyde Park Express
* 4 - Cottage Grove
* X4 - Cottage Grove Express
* 6 - Jackson Park Express
* 15 - Jeffery
* 28 - Stony Island
* X28 - Stony Island Express
* 55 - Garfield
* X55 - Garfield Express

In addition to these standard services, CTA provides six routes paid for by the University of Chicago:
* 170 - University of Chicago/Midway
* 171 - University of Chicago/Hyde Park
* 172 - University of Chicago/Kenwood
* 173 - University of Chicago/Lakeview Express
* 174 - University of Chicago/Garfield Stations
* 192 - University of Chicago Hospitals Express

These buses allow transfers to Red and Green Line trains to the Loop or provide direct express service to downtown. Metra's Electric District line, located on the former Illinois Central, has several stops in Hyde Park and provides service to downtown by way of the Millennium Station. South Shore Line trains stop at the 55th-56th-57th Street Station and provide service to Indiana. Hyde Park is also one of over 20 neighborhoods containing an I-GO Car.


The even numbered streets in Hyde Park (e.g., 52nd, 54th, etc.) are almost exclusively residential. 51st, 53rd, 55th, and 57th streets contain the largest number of businesses.

53rd Street, Hyde Park's oldest shopping district, is lined with many inexpensive restaurants, frequently offering take-out, and small businesses between Woodlawn to the west and Lake Park to the east. 53rd also features a recently-constructed Border's Bookstore. A small-business-oriented shopping center, Harper Court, extends north of 53rd Street along Harper Ave. It includes a wide variety of shops, from Dr. Wax (a record store), Hyde Park Pets, and the Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop, a popular restaurant serving southern/Cajun food. A Farmers' Market is held on Harper Court in the summers.

Promontory Point extends out into Lake Michigan at 55th street. Promontory Point extends far enough east into the lake that it provides spectacular views of both the Downtown Skyline to the north and the South Chicago and Northwest Indiana skyline to the south. It is a popular place to watch summertime fireworks displays from Navy Pier to the north, especially for Independence Day. "The Point," as it is affectionately known, sits on Chicago Park District land and like most of Chicago's lakefront park land, it is popular with hikers, bikers, joggers, runners, sunbathers, picnickers, and adventurous swimmers. Many residents of Hyde Park and fans of the point show their pride by putting bumper stickers on their cars, bikes, skateboards, etc. that simply read "Save the Point." These indicate opposition to the concrete seawall proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers for The Point and the neighboring 57th St. Members of the "Save the Point" campaign prefer a limestone seawall, as currently exists.

The south east corner of Hyde Park contains the northern end of Jackson Park upon which sits the Museum of Science and Industry, a remnant of the Columbian Exposition. Adjacent to the Museum is a large park containing a small Japanese garden. The Midway, running from Stony Island Avenue to Cottage Grove Avenue connects Jackson Park to Washington Park.

Between the lake and the Metra tracks on 55th street is a series of Asian restaurants, serving Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Middle Eastern cuisine. To the west of the Metra line between 54th and 55th streets lies the Hyde Park Shopping Center. The shopping center is anchored by the Treasure Island grocery store. Prior to Treasure Island, the space was occupied by the Hyde Park Co-Op grocery store, which shut down due to financial difficulties in early 2008. The Hyde Park Shopping Center also includes a Walgreens, an Ace Hardware, an Office Depot, a Potbelly Sandwich Works, The Bonjour bakery and outdoor cafe, and an upscale French restaurant, "La Petite Folie." Across from the shopping center on 55th Street are located a dry cleaner, a computer store (Windy City Computer), a sandwich shop (Jimmy John's), and a small bank.

57th Street is noted for independent bookstores, including the South Side branch of Powell's, an antiquarian bookshop (O'Gara and Wilson's), and the general-readership branch of the Seminary Co-op Bookstore, known as "57th Street Books." 57th Street also offers the Medici Restaurant and Bakery, Edwardo's Pizza, and the ancient Salonica Grill, along with small groceries, hairstylists, and dry cleaners. On the first weekend in June, the venerable 57th Street Art Fair takes up 57th Street between Kimbark and Kenwood Avenues.

Very few retailers operate west of Woodlawn. The neighborhood south of 57th Street and west of Woodlawn is dominated by the University of Chicago. North of 53rd Street the neighborhood is mainly residential.

Image gallery

ee also

* Hyde Park Township
* University of Chicago
* Chicago Children's Choir
* Hyde Park Art Center
* Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School
* Seminary Co-op

External links

* [http://egov.cityofchicago.org/webportal/COCWebPortal/COC_ATTACH/Community_Areas_HYDE_PARK.pdf Official City of Chicago Hyde Park Neighborhood Map]
* [http://www.hydeparksecc.com/ South East Chicago Commission]
* " [http://www.hpherald.com/ The Hyde Park Herald] "
* [http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/020221/grinnell.shtml Graduate student chronicles Hyde Park's colorful past]
* [http://www.hydeparkhistory.org/ Hyde Park Historical Society]
* [http://www.hydepark.org/ Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference]
* [http://oca.uchicago.edu/hydepark/ “At Home in Hyde Park” - Office of Community Affairs, Univ. of Chicago]
* [http://www.akiba-schechter.org/ Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School]
* [http://www.methodsreporter.com/category/hyde-park/ Hyde Park Art, Culture, Crime and Religion]
* [http://chicagolife.uchicago.edu/city/hydepark.shtml Chicago Life: A User's Guide for Students]
* [http://www.hydeparkart.org/ The Hyde Park Art Center]
* [http://www.msichicago.org/ The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago]
* [http://www.dusablemuseum.org/ The DuSable Museum of African American History]
* [http://www.renaissancesociety.org/ The Renaissance Society - Official Website]
* [http://hydeparkcrime.blogspot.com/ Hyde Park Crime Watch]
* [http://www.semcoop.com/ Seminary Co-op]
* [http://www.vision53.org/ 53rd St. Vision Workshop information]
* [http://hydeparkprogress.blogspot.com/ Hyde Park Progress Blog]


Geographic Location
Center = Hyde Park, Chicago
North = Kenwood, Chicago
East = Lake Michigan
South = Woodlawn, Chicago
West = Washington Park, Chicago
Northwest = Grand Boulevard, Chicago

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