Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Located roughly 6 miles south of the Chicago Loop, Hyde Park combines the culture and convenience of city life with the greenery one might expect of a suburban environment. The blend of urban metropolis meets small town setting is an excellent backdrop for Chicagoans who seek a historic, diverse neighborhood backdrop with modern amenities and new residential growth.

Originally a southern suburb of Chicago, Hyde Park was assimilated into the city and its land was then used to host the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Today, the area of the exposition has become Jackson Park - 600 acres of lakefront space that provides a picturesque plot for all manner of exercise, recreation, and mental stimulation. For those interested in exercising their minds as well as their legs (and with a number of biking and jogging trails, there are plenty of ways to give those legs a workout), Hyde Park is home to the Museum of Science & Industry. The museum building is one of the two remaining structures from the Columbian Exposition (the other is the Golden Lady sculpture, also worth checking). The Museum of Science & Industry is an all-around good time for families, students, tourists and those who live in the neighborhood, just minutes from the site. The sprawling museum grounds are a whirlwind of excitement, including giant spherical movie screens, submarine tours, model green homes and countless other exhibits, both permanent (scores of us have fond memories of the coal mine tour or walking through an enormous beating heart) and touring (who can forget the intriguing yet slightly creepy Body Worlds exhibit of real human bodies without their skin).

Though the area experienced an economic decline in the 1950s, as did much of Chicago's south side, Hyde Park recovered in the 1960s when a massive urban renewal project helped turn the neighborhood into the healthy community it is today. Now, the streets of Hyde Park are packed with a variety of shops, restaurants, and parks that cater to students (who attend the University of Chicago - see more below) and permanent residents. The diverse neighborhood has also proven itself an attractive place for families due to its plentiful playgrounds, public green spaces, affordable homes and good schools.

In addition to a number of excellent elementary, junior high, and high schools, Hyde Park is home to the prominent University of Chicago. Nestled in the center of the neighborhood, the University of Chicago is one of the top college-level institutions in the world. In addition to offering undergraduate, graduate, and research opportunities to students, the university has benefited the Hyde Park community, playing a major role in the area's revitalization over the years. The university is home to museums and public programs that support the non-student population of Hyde Park and create a culturally well-rounded neighborhood in one of the city's most historic spots.

 

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