Chicago’s Historic Hyde Park

Part 5: Land clearance: 55th to 57th streets

Part 5: Land clearance: 55th to 57th streets

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS The basic characteristics of Lake Park Avenue change dramatically when one heads south of the 55th Street intersection and toward 57th Street. The roadway narrows and there is but one building that remains along the Illinois Central embankment on the east, an old cable car building that is now the headquarters(…)

Part 4: Leading to land clearance, 55th Street and Lake Avenue

Part 4: Leading to land clearance, 55th Street and Lake Avenue

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS From a 21st century vantage point, it seems the standard that urban renewal planners relied on for the clearance area near Lake Avenue and 55th Street was not urban, but based on the midcentury suburbs that drew city dwellers away from communities like Hyde Park. During the urban renewal period, planners(…)

Part 3: The commercial core at 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue

Part 3: The commercial core at 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS It is no coincidence that the revival of Hyde Park’s commercial core is centered at 53rd and Lake Park Avenue, an intersection that over the years has witnessed growth and decline, tragedy and renewal. Today on any weekend night there is a line out the door at Chipotle, valet parking is(…)

Part 2: Hotels, resorts and entertainment: 51st Street and Lake Park Avenue

Part 2: Hotels, resorts and entertainment: 51st Street and Lake Park Avenue

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS The Hyde Park Hotel once commanded the intersection of Hyde Park Boulevard (51st Street) and Lake Avenue, an elegant landmark between two communities. To the north was fashionable Kenwood, and to the south, the increasingly commercial district of Hyde Park. The site of this hotel changed greatly over the ensuing years(…)

Part 1: Lake Park Avenue, at 47th Street

Part 1: Lake Park Avenue, at 47th Street

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS In its earliest days, 47th Street bore no likeness to the busy commercial thoroughfare it is today. Nor was it a dividing line between communities; rather it was social center of a quiet, well-to-do residential community. The evolution was a gradual one. The street, lined with elegant single-family homes, was widened,(…)