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Hyde Park

 

Hyde Park is a neighborhood that challenges comparison. Its residents feel that they live in a neighborhood that is among the most beautiful and architecturally significant in the city of Chicago.

 

A mere ten minutes from downtown Chicago, Hyde Park extends from 51st Street (Hyde Park Boulevard) to a beautiful greensward at 59th Street known as the Midway Plaisance.

 

Beginning in the 1850s, when the neighborhood was first developed by Paul Cornell as a commuter suburb, Hyde Park attracted affluent vacationers who came by boat, carriage or train to escape from downtown Chicago during the summer months. After Hyde Park was annexed to Chicago in 1889, there was a remarkable period of growth: the World's Columbian Exposition was held in Hyde Park and the University of Chicago was founded by John D. Rockefeller. The Gothic campus of the University was built and an amazingly talented group of architects designed residences for a diverse group of businessmen, industrialists and university professors. Would-be residents were attracted by the character of the neighborhood, the unique architectural quality of the housing stock and the proximity, and excellent transportation access, to downtown Chicago.

 

Lined with an array of stunning turn-of-the-century homes and 1920s condominium and cooperative apartment buildings, the tree-lined streets of Hyde Park seem to blend into the surrounding parks and lakefront.

 

Hyde Park's intellectual appeal has always drawn people to the neighborhood. With the presence of the University of Chicago, Court Theater, the David Smart Gallery, The Renaissance Society, Doc Films, the Hyde Park Art Center, The Oriental Institute, the DuSable Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry, there is a constant swirl of cultural events: theater openings, film series, concerts, gallery showings and lectures.

 

Families with children are drawn to Hyde Park from all over Chicago and the suburbs by the lure of excellent public (The Murray Language Academy, Ray and Bret Harte) and private schools (the Laboratory Schools of the University of Chicago; Akiba- Schechter Jewish Day School and Ancona, a parent owned Montessori School).

 

Due to the University's presence, Hyde Park provides a stimulating blend of students, artists and academics. Families and business people contribute to the buoyant atmosphere, taking advantage of abundant parks, beautiful beaches and family-owned restaurants and businesses.  Hyde Park's oldest shopping district on 53rd Street, features a Border's Bookstore, while independent bookstores such as the South Side branch of Powell's, and the general-readership branch of the Seminary Co-op bookstore are plentiful along 57th street. Restaurants offering a wide variety of ethnic cuisine dot the neighborhood and a superb French Restaurant, La Petit Folie, is located in the Hyde Park shopping center.

 

The housing stock, much like the residents, is a diverse and eclectic blend of vintage single family and duplex houses and condominiums, modern townhouses and condominiums and incredible pre-war mid-rise condominium and cooperative buildings.