Monday, October 1, 2007
Hyde Park, located on the South Side of Chicago, in Cook County, Illinois, United States and seven miles south of the Chicago Loop, is one of 77 well defined Chicago community areas. It is home to The DuSable Museum of African American History, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, The Renaissance Society, and the University of Chicago. It is formerly the name of a Township that included numerous other community areas 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 138th Street. The community was organized as a township and was independent of Chicago until 1889. As a township, the 1889 Hyde Park stretched from 39th Street south to 138th Street and as far west as State Street; but as a 21st century neighborhood, its 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 roughly 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). The neighborhood's eastern boundary is Lake Michigan and its western boundary is Washington Park. Some refer to the area between 47th Street and 51st Street ("E. Hyde Park Blvd.") as a part of Hyde Park, although this area is the south half of the Kenwood neighborhood. The Hyde Park Herald, a local newspaper, has covered neighborhood news since 1882.
Hyde Park History
Notable Hyde Park residents have included:
The neighborhood has also 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.
Louis Farrakhan Notable residents
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 Institutions
Many Hyde Park residents are politically active within and beyond Hyde Park. Political activities and controversies (of varying levels of importance) in Hyde Park include:
Debate over urban renewal plans and construction
Planned reconstruction of the lakeshore at Promontory Point
Election campaigns of resident Harold Washington and Senate candidates (cited above)
University construction and expansion
Financial and management problems at the Hyde Park Co-Op, a supermarket and member-based cooperative
Challenges associated with the off-campus behavior of students at Kenwood High School
Local economic development, such as the new Borders bookstore
The possible sale and redevelopment of Harper Court, an outdoor shopping center that was designed with local artisans, small businessowners and the community in mind. Local controversies
Hyde Park is generally defined as bordered by Cottage Grove Avenue on the west, 51st Street (also known as East Hyde Park Boulevard) on the north, 59th street on the south, and the Lake Michigan shoreline on the east. The area between 47th Street and 51st Street is sometimes considered a part of Hyde Park, but it is actually the southern half of the Kenwood neighborhood.
The neighborhood is connected to the rest of the city by both Chicago Transit Authority and Metra transportation services. CTA services include the number 2 (Hyde Park Express), 4 (Cottage Grove), X4, 6 (Jackson Park Express), 15 (Jeffery Local), 28 (Stony Island), X28, 55 (Garfield), X55, and 173 (University of Chicago/Lakeview Express) buses. These 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.
Location and transportation
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. The Midway, running from Stony Island Avenue to Cottage Grove Ave connects Jackson Park to Washington Park.
Between the lake and the Metra tracks on 55th street is a series of Asian restaurants - Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Middle Eastern. To the west of the Metra line between 54th and 55th streets a shopping center features the venerable Hyde Park Co-Op grocery store (with a US Post Office in the basement and annual health fairs, second-hand book sales, and plant and flower sales) and also includes a Walgreen's, an Ace Hardware, an Office Depot, a Potbelly Sandwich Works, a bakery and outdoor cafe (Bonjour), and an upscale French restaurant, "La Petite Folie." Across from the Co-Op plaza on 55th Street lies 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 drycleaners.
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.
The recently re-opened Hyde Park Art Center, located on Cornell Ave. just north of 51st Street/E. Hyde Park Blvd., is Chicago's oldest alternative exhibition space, with an on-site school and studio and an extensive outreach program.
Posted by allenwoow at 9:24 AM