Historic Hyde Park

Part Eighteen: The Booklover

Part Eighteen: The Booklover

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS Leaving the city pavements at Twelfth Street, we struck across the prairie, with its velvety turf roads, and following the curve of the shore of Lake Michigan came to the enchanting ground of gravel ridges with deep loam hollows between which tell of receding waters. All of the ridges were decorated with oak(…)

Part Seventeen: The Shoe Smith

Part Seventeen: The Shoe Smith

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS The series has completed a look at the development of the major intersections along Lake Park Avenue, and turned to stories of interest within the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities. The articles are all of varying topics, but relate to the residences that currently or in the past have defined the(…)

Part Sixteen: Pickles, profits and preservation

Part Sixteen: Pickles, profits and preservation

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS The series has completed a look at the development of the major intersections along Lake Park Avenue, and turned to stories of interest within the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities. The articles are all of varying topics, but relate to the residences that once defined the urban fabric. When the credits(…)

Part Fifteen: Taken for a Ride

Part Fifteen: Taken for a Ride

A monthly series presented by the Hyde Park Herald and Susan O’Connor Davis, author of “Chicago’s Historic Hyde Park,” published by University of Chicago Press. By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS There are some who move from place to place without so much as a backward glance. But for many of us the thought of leaving the(…)

Part Fourteen: Lincoln’s Hyde Park

Part Fourteen: Lincoln’s Hyde Park

The series has completed a look at the development of the major intersections along Lake Park Avenue, and turned to stories of interest within the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities. The articles are all of varying topics, but relate to the residences that currently or in the past have defined the urban fabric. By SUSAN(…)

Part Thirteen: Bailey’s Bulldog

Part Thirteen: Bailey’s Bulldog

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS But you must see Kenwood as I saw it when we came here in 1861. As we approached, we passed Dr. Eagen’s [Egan’s] Lodge on the corner of Cottage Grove and Forty-seventh, where Mr. Liston and his five children managed to live in the only one-roomed thatched cottage any where near(…)

Part Twelve: Remarkable Gifts: Fernwood Villa

Part Twelve: Remarkable Gifts: Fernwood Villa

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS The spring of 1901 found the grounds of Fernwood Villa chilly and damp — warmth was slow to come after another of Chicago’s cold winters. Although daylight lengthens by May, the month is notorious as the winds often shift off the lake and temperatures suddenly fall. Yet Maria Scammon was content,(…)

Part Eleven: A villa becomes a village — Drexel Boulevard, 47th to 51st streets

Part Eleven: A villa becomes a village — Drexel Boulevard, 47th to 51st streets

Editor’s note: The series has completed a look at the development of the major intersections along Lake Park Avenue, and turned to stories of interest within the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities. The articles are all of varying topics, but relate to the residences that currently or in the past have defined the urban fabric.(…)

Part Ten: “They were all Republicans,” Drexel Boulevard – 39th to 47th Streets

Part Ten: “They were all Republicans,” Drexel Boulevard – 39th to 47th Streets

Editor’s note: The series has completed a look at the development of the major intersections along Lake Park Avenue, and turned to stories of interest within the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities. The articles are all of varying topics, but relate to the residences that currently or in the past have defined the urban fabric.(…)

Part Nine: Legends of the Fall

Part Nine: Legends of the Fall

Editor’s note: The series has completed a look at the development of the major intersections along Lake Park Avenue, and turned to stories of interest within the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities. The articles are all of varying topics, but relate to the residences that currently or in the past have defined the urban fabric.(…)

Part Eight: Genuinely civilized oddballs

Part Eight: Genuinely civilized oddballs

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS When speaking of the recently constructed Logan Center on the south side of the Midway Plaisance, University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer commented that the building would have “a tremendous impact not only on our students, faculty and community, but on the future of the arts in Chicago.” He continued, “Creativity(…)

Part Seven: Springtime is for Lovers

Part Seven: Springtime is for Lovers

The series has completed a look at the development of the major intersections along Lake Park Avenue, and turns to stories of interest within the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities. The articles are all of varying topics, but relate to the residences that have defined the urban fabric. By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS The neighborhood that(…)

Part Six: Thinking across generations

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS When speaking about Chicago, Hyde Park resident Saul Bellow noted that this city “builds itself up, knocks itself down again, scrapes away the rubble and starts over.” In contrast to European cities that were destroyed in war and painstakingly restored, this city does not restore; “it makes something wildly different.” A(…)

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

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

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

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

Part Two: 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 One: Lake Park Avenue, at 47th Street

Part One: 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,(…)