Hyde Park, Chicago
|— Community area —|
|Community Area 41 - Hyde Park|
|• Total||1.65 sq mi (4.27 km2)|
|• Density||16,000/sq mi ( 6,000/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP codes||parts of 60615 and 60637|
|Median household income||$45,335|
|Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services|
Hyde Park is a neighborhood and community area on the South Side of Chicago. It is located on the shore of Lake Michigan seven miles (11 km) south of the Chicago Loop. Established in 1853 by Paul Cornell, Hyde Park Township was incorporated in 1861 and remained independent of Chicago until it was annexed to the city in 1889.
The definition of Hyde Park as a neighborhood has been restricted to the historic core of the former township, centered on Cornell's development on 53rd Street near the lakefront. Today, the name Hyde Park is officially applied to the area between 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard and the Midway Plaisance (between 59th and 60th streets), with its eastern and western boundaries being Lake Michigan and Washington Park. According to another definition, a section to the north between 47th Street and 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard is also included as part of Hyde Park, although this area is officially part of the Kenwood community area. The area encompassing Hyde Park and the southern part of Kenwood is sometimes referred to as Hyde Park-Kenwood.
Hyde Park hosts the University of Chicago and two of Chicago's four historic sites listed in the original 1966 National Register of Historic Places (Chicago Pile-1 and Robie House). Hyde Park has recently gained particular notability as the home of U.S. President Barack Obama, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than twenty years and represented Hyde Park and several surrounding neighborhoods in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Barack Obama currently owns a house on the corner of Greenwood Avenue and 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard.
In 1853, Paul Cornell, a real estate speculator and cousin of Cornell University founder Ezra Cornell, purchased 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land between 51st and 55th streets along the shore of Lake Michigan near the Illinois Central Railroad, with the idea of attracting other Chicago businessmen and their families to the area. The land was located seven miles south of downtown Chicago in a quiet rural area that enjoyed weather tempered by Lake Michigan – cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Some of Cornell's associates, including the sheriff, used their houses in Hyde Park as stops on the Underground Railroad. Cornell successfully negotiated land in exchange for a railroad station at 53rd Street to lure guests to the Hyde Park House, a hotel he built to serve as a neighborhood resort. The hotel served as a popular focal point of most community activity starting in the 1850s, and was visited or lived in by well-to-do guests, including Mary Todd Lincoln. Hyde Park House burned down in an 1879 fire. Sisson Hotel was built on the site in 1918 and was eventually converted into a condominium building (Hampton House).
Growth and notability 
In 1892, the University of Chicago was established in Hyde Park through the philanthropy of John D. Rockefeller. With leadership from William Rainey Harper, the University of Chicago grew into one of the world's most prestigious universities, and is now associated with eighty-seven Nobel Prize laureates.
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 the Museum of Science and Industry.
By the 1930s, Hyde Park was prospering as a resort area boasting over a hundred hotels, including nearly a dozen elaborate lakefront structures. Following the Great Depression, some of these hotels began to serve a more transient population. Most of the hotels were later converted into apartment and condominium buildings. A thriving artists' colony on 57th Street led to the establishment of the 57th Street Art Fair in 1948, which continues as Chicago's oldest juried art fair.
Economic decline and urban renewal 
By the 1950s, Hyde Park was suffering from the economic decline which began on the South Side of Chicago during and after World War I, following the Great Migration of African Americans from the South. Hyde Park saw rapid expansion of the working-class African American population into the area, which then offered inexpensive but substandard housing. In 1955, civil rights activist Leon Despres was elected alderman of Hyde Park and held the position for twenty years. Despres argued passionately for racial integration, fair housing, and historic preservation.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the University of Chicago, in its so-called "Fight Against Blight," sponsored one of the largest urban renewal plans in the nation. The plan resulted in the demolition and redevelopment of entire blocks of decayed buildings with the goal of creating an "interracial community of high standards." Jack Meltzer was a leader of this effort. As a result of the project, Hyde Park's average income soared by seventy percent in the 1960s, but its Black population fell by forty percent, since the substandard housing primarily occupied by low-income minorities had been purchased, torn down, and replaced, with the residents not being able to afford to remain in the newly rehabilitated areas. On the other hand, middle-class residents were offered increased opportunities for employment and home-ownership, and the neighborhood remained highly diverse and multiracial. As a result of the renewal project as well as the strong influence of the University of Chicago, Hyde Park did not experience the same economic depression that occurred in neighboring areas and remained a middle-class integrated neighborhood.
Historic sites 
The following community area properties have been added to the National Register of Historic Places: Chicago Beach Hotel, Arthur H. Compton House, East Park Towers, Site of First Self-Sustaining Nuclear Reaction, Flamingo-on-the-Lake Apartments, Isadore H. Heller House, Charles Hitchcock Hall, Hotel Del Prado, Hotel Windermere East, Frank R. Lillie House, Robert A. Millikan House, Poinsettia Apartments, Promontory Apartments, Frederick C. Robie House, George Herbert Jones Laboratory, St. Thomas Church and Convent, Shoreland Hotel, German submarine U-505, and University Apartments.
In addition, the NRHP Hyde Park-Kenwood Historic District and Jackson Park Historic Landscape District and Midway Plaisance are located, at least in part, within the community area. There is also an apartment building on 57th Street that was once the residence of young Ronald Reagan.
The part of Hyde Park between the Midway Plaisance and 55th Street and between the Metra line to the east and Washington Park to the west is the official territory of the University of Chicago campus. While University of Chicago students and professors reside in all parts of Hyde Park, the portion of Hyde Park that serves as the campus is especially dominated by university life and culture. The part of the campus to the west of University Avenue hosts most of the University of Chicago facilities while the part of the campus to the east of University Avenue is mostly residential, with many of its residents being University of Chicago faculty.
While the parts of Hyde Park located outside of the official campus area are also home to many University of Chicago students and faculty, these areas do not contain any major university facilities (except for a few dormitories). The parts of Hyde Park outside of the campus area host far more shops, restaurants, and other businesses than the campus and tend to have a more urban character than the somewhat bucolic campus area.
The part of Hyde Park located to the east of the Metra line is called East Hyde Park. This area has a large number of high-rise condominiums, many of them facing the lakefront. In this respect, East Hyde Park differs markedly from the rest of Hyde Park, where the vast majority of the residential structures are three-story apartment buildings and single-family homes, with only a small number of high-rise condominiums.
Shopping districts 
53rd, 55th, and 57th streets host the majority of the businesses in Hyde Park.
53rd Street is Hyde Park's oldest shopping district, lined with many small businesses and inexpensive restaurants offering take-out food. Harper Court, a small-business-oriented shopping center, extends north of 53rd Street along Harper Avenue. A farmers' market is held there in the summer.
Between the lake and the Metra line on 55th Street are a series of ethnic 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. The Hyde Park Shopping Center also includes a Walgreens, Ace Hardware, Office Depot, Potbelly Sandwich Works, the Bonjour bakery and outdoor cafe, and an upscale French restaurant called "La Petite Folie."
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, Eduardo's Pizza, and the Salonica Grill, along with small grocery stores, hair stylists, and dry cleaners. On the first weekend in June, the venerable 57th Street Art Fair takes up 57th Street between Kimbark and Kenwood avenues.
Promontory Point extends out into Lake Michigan at 55th Street, providing spectacular views of both the Downtown Chicago skyline to the north, and the South Chicago and Northwest Indiana skylines to the south. Sitting on Chicago Park District land, the Promontory Point is popular with bikers, joggers, picnickers, sunbathers, and swimmers.
The southeastern corner of Hyde Park contains the northern end of Jackson Park, home to the Museum of Science and Industry, the only building left from the World's Columbian Exposition. Jackson Park consists of lagoons surrounding an island in the middle (called the Wooded Island), on which a small Japanese garden is located. The Midway Plaisance, a wide boulevard that runs from Stony Island Avenue to Cottage Grove Avenue between 59th and 60th streets, connects Jackson Park to Washington Park (located to the west of Hyde Park).
Hyde Park is known for being a highly racially diverse neighborhood. Its population is 46.7% White, 30.4% African American, 12.4% Asian, 6.3% Hispanic, and 4.1% of other races or of more than one race. There are some significant differences between the demographics of the part of Hyde Park south of 55th Street (most of which is part of the University of Chicago campus) and the part of Hyde Park north of 55th Street. Residents south of 55th Street are predominantly White or Asian American, with a relatively small percentage being African American. A large percentage of Hyde Parkers who live south of 55th Street are University of Chicago faculty, students, and people otherwise affiliated with the university. The part of Hyde Park north of 55th Street, on the other hand, is much more racially diverse, and a greater proportion of its residents (compared to the campus area) are not affiliated with the University of Chicago. The vast majority of Hyde Park's African American population lives north of 55th Street, where approximately half of the residents are African American. The northwestern corner of Hyde Park is almost 100% African American.
Hyde Park's location in the center of the South Side of Chicago as well as its large population of well-to-do African American residents have made it one of the cultural and political centers of Chicago's African American community. Many of Chicago's prominent African American activists and politicians, including civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun, and U.S. President Barack Obama, currently live or have in the past lived in Hyde Park.
Hyde Parkers of all racial backgrounds are known for being staunchly Liberal in their political views. About 95% of the residents vote for Democratic candidates in general elections. Many of Hyde Park's residents were highly active supporters of the Obama presidential campaign during the 2008 Democratic primaries as well as the 2008 and 2012 general elections.
The neighborhood is connected to the rest of the city by both Chicago Transit Authority buses and Metra's Electric Line. CTA buses allow transfers to Red and Green Line trains to the Loop, and they also provide direct express service to the downtown. Metra's Electric Line, located on the tracks of the former Illinois Central Railroad, has several stops in Hyde Park and provides service to Millennium Station in the downtown.
CTA bus services:
Additional CTA bus services, paid for by the University of Chicago:
Hyde Park is home to a number of educational institutions:
Notable current and former residents 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Hyde Park, Chicago|
The banks of Promontory Point.
Downtown Chicago and lakefront condominiums in Hyde Park as seen from the northern side of Promontory Point.
- Paral, Rob. "Chicago Demographics Data". Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Paral, Rob. "Chicago Census Data". Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Paral, Rob. "Chicago Community Areas Historical Data". Chicago Community Areas Historical Data. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Keating, Ann Durkin. "Annexations and Additions to the City of Chicago". Chicago Historical Society reproduced from Newberry Library. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Guides and Maps - Neighborhood Maps: Hyde Park and Bronzeville". City of Chicago. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Business Directory (C): Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage-Hyde Park". Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "The Hyde Park-Kenwood Urban Renewal Story". Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Paul Cornell - Founder of Hyde Park". Hyde Park Historical Society. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Grinnell, Max. "Hyde Park". Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Cornelius, James (April 4, 2011). "Two new stories about the Lincolns". Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Nobel Laureates". University of Chicago. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- McCracken, David (June 5, 1987). "The Art Fair That`s Been In The Picture The Longest". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Grossman, Ron (May 7, 2009). "Leon Despres, 1908-2009: Chicago alderman challenged elder Mayor Daley: Liberal voice of city, 101, also championed civil rights and political reforms". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Wilgoren, Jodi (May 31, 2005). "Age 97, and Still at War With the Old Daley Machine". New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Hyde Park Featured on TV Show". Hyde Park Herald. January 16, 1957. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
- "Hyde Parkers Tell Renewal Story". Hyde Park Herald. January 30, 1957. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
- William Kelly (25 January 2013). "Reagan's home could become a parking lot for Obama's library". Washtington Times. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Kane Farabaugh (27 December 2012). "University Plans To Demolish Ronald Reagan’s Chicago Apartment". Voice of America. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "Former President Ronald Reagan's childhood Chicago home to be demolished and turned into parking lot - but could it be for Obama's Presidential Library?". Daily Mail. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "GERTRUDE ABERCROMBIE (1909 - 1977)". Corbett vs. Dempsey reproduced from Art in Chicago 1945 - 1995. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Remnick, David (November 4, 2008). "MR. AYERS’S NEIGHBORHOOD". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Yoe, Mary Ruth (June 2005). "He seized the day". University of Chicago Magazine. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "LEE BOTTS--HON. PETER J. VISCLOSKY of indiana in the house of representatives: Wednesday, February 13, 2008". Government Printing Office. February 13, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Rodkin, Dennis (November 24, 2010). "Carol Moseley Braun Puts Her Hyde Park Home Up for Sale". Chicago (magazine). Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Spink, George. "Blues for Big John's". Jazz Institute of Chicago. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Epstein, Nadine (May 29, 1985). "U. Of C. Seems To Get Nobel Supply On Demand". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Ciccone, F. Richard (April 22, 1999). "Impact Players: The 100 Most Significant Chicagoans Of The Twentieth Century The Great Defender: Clarence Darrow". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "William Dodd: The U.S. Ambassador In Hitler's Berlin". National Public Radio. May 9, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "AN INTERVIEW WITH BILL AYERS". The Point Magazine. Spring 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Janega, James (December 16, 2008). "Duncan to join Obama Cabinet: Chicago schools chief is his pick for education secretary". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Timeline: Amelia Earhart, 1897-1937". American Experience, Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Welch, Will (November 24, 2009). "Kurt Elling: Live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue". GQ. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Kleban Mills, Barbara (September 17, 1990). "Predicting Disaster for a Racist America, Louis Farrakhan Envisions An African Homeland for U.S. Blacks". People Magazine. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Susan T. Fiske". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Johnson, Steve (October 25, 2009). "Dick Gregory on Obama, longevity, comic geniuses". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Grinnell, Max. "Playboy". Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Slevin, Peter (October 16, 2008). "Uncommon Ground". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Mullen, William (April 9, 2010). "John Paul Stevens’ Chicago ties: Before Supreme Court, Hyde Park native’s life was centered in the city". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Phillips, Julie (2006). "James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon - Alice Bradley Sheldon, 1915-1987". St. Martin's Press. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Kloehn, Steve (October 9, 1996). "Swami Bhashyananda, Hindu Leader". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Monk Parakeets in Hyde Park and beyond". Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Official City of Chicago Hyde Park Map
- Hyde Park Historical Society
- Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference
- South East Chicago Commission
||Grand Boulevard, Chicago||Kenwood, Chicago|
|Washington Park, Chicago||Lake Michigan|