By: Joseph Dold and Kevin Murphy
"The City in a Garden"
Originally founded by Paul Cornell, Hyde Park is a culturally diverse neighborhood located on the south side of Chicago along the shores of Lake Michigan. One of its many attractions is the world famous Museum of Science and Industry. But the neighborhood is probably most famous for being the home of the prestigious University of Chicago. It is ranked fifth nationally by US News & World Report and claims former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and well-known author Kurt Vonnegut--as well as 87 Nobel Prize winners-- as a few of its most famous graduates. Hyde Park is a unique community populated mostly by downtown professionals and university employees. President Barack Obama still owns a home there and former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington lived there while in office.
History in Three Points
~In 1891, the University of Chicago was established in Hyde Park through the philanthropy of John D. Rockefeller and the leadership of William Harper.
~In 1893, Hyde Park was the host of the World's Columbian Exposition, or World's Fair.
~In the late 1950s, the first federally-sponsored urban renewal plan was underway in Hyde Park. The plan was formed to transform many older densely built-up areas into a state of semi-suburbia.
Hyde Park is located on Chicago's south side and is adjacent to Lake Michigan. Its boundaries include 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard, north; East 60th Street, south; South Cottage Grove Avenue, west; and Lake Michigan, east. The neighborhoods that surround Hyde Park are: Kenwood, Washington Park, and Woodlawn.
There are many things to do, see and experience in Hyde Park for both the resident and the visitor. Promontory Point jets out into beautiful Lake Michigan at Burnham Harbor and has a beautiful park within it. Architectually rich, Hyde Park also boasts two of Frank Lloyd Wright's most famously designed homes, "The Robie House" and "Heller House." Finally, Hyde Park includes many delicious restaurants like Chant, an Asian restaurant; Rajun Cajun, a famous Southern/Soul restaurant; and Medici on 57th, a delicious pizza parlor that is a local favorite.
Hyde Park is a very diverse community that is mainly populated by whites (45.8%) and African-Americans (38.1%), but there are also Asians (11.3%), Hispanics (4.1%), American Indians (0.1%), and Pacific Islanders (0.1%). There was also a wide population of Jewish people in the 1920s, so therefore there is somewhat of a large influence of Jewish culture like the Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago, a Jewish community center, and several synagogues.
~The Columbian Exposition took place in 1893 at Hyde Park. This brought new innovative ideas into Chicago such as the creation of Museum of Science and Industry that was established to be temporary but was later reconstructed in 1933 due to such a public appeal. The Exposition also led to the world's first Ferris Wheel that was built in 1893 but unfortunately was later dynamited and sold for scrap metal.