World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hyde Park, Chicago

Hyde Park
Community area
Community Area 41 - Hyde Park
The official Hyde Park community area (bold black) and the unofficial Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood extending into the official Kenwood community area (thin black).
The official Hyde Park community area (bold black) and the unofficial Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood extending into the official Kenwood community area (thin black).
Location within the city of Chicago
Location within the city of Chicago
Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
City Chicago
 • Total 1.65 sq mi (4.27 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 25,681
 • Density 16,000/sq mi (6,000/km2)
Demographics (2010)[1]
 • White 46.7%
 • Black 30.4%
 • Asian 12.4%
 • Hispanic 6.3%
 • Other 4.1%
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes parts of 60615 and 60637
Median household income $45,335[2]
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

Hyde Park is a neighborhood and community area on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. It is located on the shore of Lake Michigan seven miles (11 km) south of the Chicago Loop.

Hyde Park's official boundaries are 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard on the north, the Midway Plaisance (between 59th and 60th streets) on the south, Washington Park on the west, and Lake Michigan on the east. According to another definition, a section to the north between 47th Street[5] and 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard is also included as part of Hyde Park, although this area is officially the southern 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.[6]

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).[7] In recent years, Hyde Park has received national attention as the longtime home of U.S. President Barack Obama.


  • History 1
    • Founding and early years 1.1
    • Growth and notability 1.2
    • Racial integration, economic decline, and urban renewal 1.3
  • Subdivisions 2
    • University of Chicago campus 2.1
    • East Hyde Park 2.2
    • Kenwood 2.3
  • Demographics 3
    • Diversity 3.1
    • Politics 3.2
  • Landmarks 4
  • Parks 5
    • Promontory Point 5.1
    • Jackson Park 5.2
  • Shopping districts 6
    • 53rd Street 6.1
    • 55th Street 6.2
    • 57th Street 6.3
  • Museums 7
  • Educational institutions 8
  • Churches and houses of worship 9
  • Transportation 10
  • Notable current and former residents 11
  • Gallery 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Founding and early years

In 1853, Paul Cornell, a real estate speculator and cousin of Cornell University founder Ezra Cornell, purchased 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land[8] between 51st and 55th streets along the shore of Lake Michigan,[9] with the idea of attracting other Chicago businessmen and their families to the area.[8] The land was located seven miles south of Downtown Chicago in a rural area that enjoyed weather tempered by the lake – cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It was conveniently located near the Illinois Central Railroad, which had been constructed two years earlier. Cornell successfully negotiated land in exchange for a railroad station at 53rd Street. Hyde Park quickly became a popular suburban retreat for affluent Chicagoans who wanted to escape the noise and congestion of the rapidly growing city.

In 1857, the Hyde Park House, an upscale hotel, was built on the shore of Lake Michigan near the 53rd Street railroad station.[8] For two decades, the Hyde Park House served as a focal point of Hyde Park social life. During this period, it was visited or lived in by many prominent guests, including Mary Todd Lincoln, who lived there with her children for two and a half months in the summer of 1865 (shortly after her husband was assassinated).[10] The Hyde Park House burned down in an 1879 fire. The Sisson Hotel was built on the site in 1918 and was eventually converted into a condominium building (the Hampton House).

In 1861, Hyde Park was incorporated as an independent township (called Hyde Park Township). Its boundaries were Pershing Road (39th Street) on the north, 138th Street on the south, State Street on the west, and Lake Michigan and the Indiana state line on the east.[11] The territory of the township encompassed most of what is now the South Side of Chicago. Hyde Park Township remained independent of Chicago until it was annexed to the city in 1889.[12] After annexation, the definition of Hyde Park as a Chicago neighborhood was restricted to the historic core of the former township, centered on Cornell's initial development between 51st and 55th streets near the lakefront.

Growth and notability

In 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition was held in Hyde Park.

In 1891 (two years after Hyde Park was annexed to the city of Chicago),[8] the University of Chicago was established in Hyde Park through the philanthropy of John D. Rockefeller and the leadership of William Rainey Harper.[9] The University of Chicago eventually grew into one of the world's most prestigious universities, and is now associated with eighty-nine Nobel Prize laureates.[13]

In 1893, Hyde Park hosted the World's Columbian Exposition (a world's fair marking the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World). The World's Columbian Exposition brought fame to the neighborhood, which gave rise to an inflow of new residents and spurred new development that gradually started transforming Hyde Park into a more urban area. However, since most of the structures built for the fair were temporary, it left few direct traces in the neighborhood. The only major structure from the fair that is still standing today is Charles Atwood's Palace of Fine Arts, which has since been converted into the Museum of Science and Industry.

In the early decades of the twentieth century, many upscale hotels were built in Hyde Park (mostly along the lakefront). Hyde Park became a popular resort area in Chicago.[9] Most of these hotels closed during the Great Depression, and were eventually converted into apartment and condominium buildings (most of which are still standing today).

Racial integration, economic decline, and urban renewal

Until the middle of the twentieth century, Hyde Park remained an almost exclusively white neighborhood (despite its proximity to Chicago's Black Belt). Hyde Parkers relied on racially restrictive covenants to keep African Americans out of the neighborhood. At the time, the use of such covenants was supported by the University of Chicago.[14]

After the Supreme Court banned racially restrictive covenants in 1948, African Americans began moving into Hyde Park, and the neighborhood gradually became multiracial. In 1955, civil rights activist Leon Despres was elected alderman of Hyde Park and held the position for twenty years.[15] Despres argued passionately for racial integration and fair housing on the floor of the Chicago City Council, and became known as the "liberal conscience of Chicago" for often casting the sole dissenting vote against the policies of Chicago's then-mayor Richard J. Daley.[16]

During the 1950s, Hyde Park experienced economic decline as a result of the white flight that followed the rapid inflow of African Americans into the neighborhood.[9] In the 1950s and 1960s, the University of Chicago, in its effort to counteract these trends, sponsored one of the largest urban renewal plans in the nation.[17][18] The plan involved the demolition and redevelopment of entire blocks of decayed buildings with the goal of creating an "interracial community of high standards."[6] After the plan was carried out, Hyde Park's average income soared by seventy percent, but its African American population fell by forty percent, since the substandard housing primarily occupied by low-income African Americans had been purchased, torn down, and replaced, with the residents not being able to afford to remain in the newly rehabilitated areas. The ultimate result of the renewal plan was that Hyde Park did not experience the economic depression that occurred in the surrounding areas and became a racially integrated middle-class neighborhood.


The southwestern part of Hyde Park serves as the campus of the University of Chicago, one of the world's most prestigious universities.

University of Chicago campus

The part of Hyde Park bounded by 55th Street on the north, the Midway Plaisance on the south, Washington Park on the west, and the Metra line on the east is the official territory of the University of Chicago campus. Most of the university's major facilities are located within the western half of this area (west of University Avenue). The part of the campus east of University Avenue is mostly residential, with many of its residents being University of Chicago faculty.

East Hyde Park

The part of Hyde Park located 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.


The area bounded by 47th Street on the north, 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard on the south, Cottage Grove Avenue on the west, and Lake Michigan on the east is officially the southern part of the Kenwood community area, but it is often unofficially considered to be part of Hyde Park due to the shared culture and history of the two areas. The name Hyde Park-Kenwood is sometimes applied to the area encompassing Hyde Park and the southern part of Kenwood. The southern part of Kenwood is notable for its many luxurious mansions, which were built at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries for wealthy Chicagoans. A number of prominent Chicagoans currently reside in this area. In particular, a mansion on the corner of Greenwood Avenue and 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard (on the southern edge of Kenwood) has been the home of U.S. President Barack Obama since 2005. A mansion on the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and 49th Street was built for Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad and is currently owned by his successor Louis Farrakhan. In addition, there is a mansion in the 4900 block of Woodlawn Avenue that was once the home of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.



U.S. President Barack Obama has lived in Hyde Park for more than twenty years.

Hyde Park is one of Chicago's most racially diverse neighborhoods. Its population is 46.7% White, 30.4% African American, 12.4% Asian American, 6.3% Hispanic, and 4.1% of other races or of more than one race.[1] There are significant differences between the racial 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 and Asian American, with only a relatively small percentage being African American. North of 55th Street, on the other hand, African Americans make up approximately half of the population. The population of the northwestern corner of Hyde Park (north of 55th Street and west of Drexel Avenue) is almost 100% African American.[19]

Hyde Park's location in the center of the predominantly African American South Side of Chicago as well as its large population of well-to-do African American residents have made it an important cultural and political hub of Chicago's African American community. Many of Chicago's prominent African American politicians, including former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington,[20] former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun,[21] and U.S. President Barack Obama,[14] 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.[14]


Nuclear Energy, a sculpture by Henry Moore marking the site of Chicago Pile-1, the world's first nuclear reactor.

The following Hyde Park community area properties have been added to the 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 Hyde Park community area.


Promontory Point

A trail in Jackson Park.

  • Official City of Chicago Hyde Park Map
  • Hyde Park Historical Society
  • Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference
  • South East Chicago Commission

External links

  1. ^ a b Paral, Rob. "Chicago Demographics Data". Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Census Data". Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Community Areas Historical Data". Chicago Community Areas Historical Data. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Guides and Maps - Neighborhood Maps: Hyde Park and Bronzeville" (PDF).  
  5. ^ "Business Directory (C): Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage-Hyde Park". Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "The Hyde Park-Kenwood Urban Renewal Story". Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  8. ^ a b c d "Paul Cornell - Founder of Hyde Park". Hyde Park Historical Society. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d Grinnell, Max. "Hyde Park". Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Cornelius, James (April 4, 2011). "Two new stories about the Lincolns".  
  11. ^ Keating, Ann Durkin (2005). "Annexations and Additions to the City of Chicago". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  12. ^ Keating, Ann Durkin (2005). "Hyde Park Township". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  13. ^ "Nobel Laureates".  
  14. ^ a b c d Slevin, Peter (October 16, 2008). "Uncommon Ground".  
  15. ^ a b 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. 
  16. ^ Wilgoren, Jodi (May 31, 2005). "Age 97, and Still at War With the Old Daley Machine".  
  17. ^ "Hyde Park Featured on TV Show".  
  18. ^ "Hyde Parkers Tell Renewal Story". Hyde Park Herald. January 30, 1957. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  19. ^ Rankin, Bill. "Chicago Boundaries - radicalcartography". Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Monk Parakeets in Hyde Park and beyond". Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b Rodkin, Dennis (November 24, 2010). "Carol Moseley Braun Puts Her Hyde Park Home Up for Sale".  
  22. ^ Geiger, Kim; Delgado, Jennifer. "Promontory Point to serve as stage for star-studded wedding reception". Chicago Tribune. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  23. ^ "GERTRUDE ABERCROMBIE (1909 - 1977)". Corbett vs. Dempsey reproduced from Art in Chicago 1945 - 1995. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  24. ^ Remnick, David (November 4, 2008). "MR. AYERS’S NEIGHBORHOOD".  
  25. ^ Yoe, Mary Ruth (June 2005). "He seized the day". University of Chicago Magazine. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  26. ^ "LEE BOTTS--HON. PETER J. VISCLOSKY of indiana in the house of representatives: Wednesday, February 13, 2008".  
  27. ^ Spink, George. "Blues for Big John's".  
  28. ^ a b c Epstein, Nadine (May 29, 1985). "U. Of C. Seems To Get Nobel Supply On Demand". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  29. ^ 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. 
  30. ^ "William Dodd: The U.S. Ambassador In Hitler's Berlin".  
  31. ^ "AN INTERVIEW WITH BILL AYERS". The Point Magazine. Spring 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  32. ^ 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. 
  33. ^ "Timeline: Amelia Earhart, 1897-1937".  
  34. ^ Welch, Will (November 24, 2009). "Kurt Elling: Live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue".  
  35. ^ Kleban Mills, Barbara (September 17, 1990). "Predicting Disaster for a Racist America, Louis Farrakhan Envisions An African Homeland for U.S. Blacks".  
  36. ^ "Susan T. Fiske".  
  37. ^ Johnson, Steve (October 25, 2009). "Dick Gregory on Obama, longevity, comic geniuses". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  38. ^ Grinnell, Max. "Playboy". Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  39. ^
  40. ^ 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. 
  41. ^ Phillips, Julie (2006). "James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon - Alice Bradley Sheldon, 1915-1987".  
  42. ^ Kloehn, Steve (October 9, 1996). "Swami Bhashyananda, Hindu Leader". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 



Notable current and former residents

CTA bus services:

  • 2 - Hyde Park Express
  • 4 - Cottage Grove
  • 6 - Jackson Park Express
  • 10 - Museum of Science and Industry
  • 15 - Jeffery Local
  • 28 - Stony Island
  • 55 - Garfield

Additional CTA bus services, paid for by the University of Chicago:

  • 170 - University of Chicago/Midway
  • 171 - University of Chicago/Hyde Park
  • 172 - University of Chicago/Kenwood
  • 192 - University of Chicago Hospitals Express

Hyde Park is connected to the rest of the city by CTA buses and the Metra Electric Line. CTA buses provide express service to the downtown, and they also allow transfers to Red Line and Green Line trains to the Loop. The Metra Electric Line, which uses the tracks of the former Illinois Central Railroad, has several stops in Hyde Park and provides service to Millennium Station in the downtown.


Churches and houses of worship

Educational institutions


57th Street is noted for its independent bookstores, including the South Side branch of Powell'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, Z&H Cafe, and the Salonica Restaurant, 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.

57th Street

The segment of 55th Street between the Metra line and the lake offers a series of ethnic restaurants serving Thai, Japanese, and Korean 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, and also includes a Walgreens, Ace Hardware, Office Depot, Potbelly Sandwich Works, the Bonjour Bakery and Cafe, and an upscale French restaurant called "La Petite Folie."

55th Street

53rd Street is Hyde Park's oldest shopping district, lined with many small businesses and restaurants offering various dining options. 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.

53rd Street

53rd, 55th, and 57th streets host most of the businesses in Hyde Park.

The courtyard of the Hyde Park Shopping Center.

Shopping districts

The southeastern corner of Hyde Park contains the northern end of Jackson Park. Jackson Park consists of lagoons surrounding an island in the middle (called the Wooded Island), on which a small Japanese garden is located. It is home to a large population of beavers and over two dozen species of birds. 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).

Jackson Park


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.