Hyde Park/Washington Park, Chicago

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  • Hyde Park/Washington Park
    by leics
  • Hyde Park/Washington Park
    by leics
  • Hyde Park/Washington Park
    by leics
  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Neighborhoods-Hyde Park

    by Dabs Written Jun 20, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    University of Chicago

    Hyde Park is best known for being home to the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. But you might also want to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House at 5757 S. Woodlawn, gawk at some of the other mansions on Woodlawn, stop by Powell's Used Bookstore at 1501 E. 57th or stop by and see Lorado Taft's eerie sculpture, the Fountain of Time.

    Hyde Park's boundaries are 55th Street to the north, Lake Michigan to the east, 60th Street to the south and Cottage Grove Avenue to the west.

    Although it is often suggested that Hyde Park has a high crime rate, it is actually one of the safer neighborhoods in Chicago being patroled by both the Chicago Police and the University of Chicago police. I feel perfectly comfortable there during the daytime hours with all of the University activity and hospital activity.

    That being said, some of the surrounding neighborhoods do struggle with crime problems so do be aware of that if you visit.

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    Walking through the University of Chicago campus

    by Jefie Updated Oct 18, 2008

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    Rosenwald Hall, University of Chicago
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    Though it may not be as well known as some of the major US Ivy League schools, the University of Chicago is one of the top private universities in the world. Founded in 1891, the university was created thanks to generous donations from its famous patron, John D. Rockefeller. Its main campus is located in the South Side area of Chicago, and it is made up of numerous neo-Gothic limestone buildings, 18 of which were designed by Henry Ives Cobb towards the end of the 19th century. The university's "main quadrangle" is perhaps the best spot to admire Cobb's work, as you are surrounded by seven of his most beautiful pavilions. Another building that's worth visiting is the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, designed by Bertram Goodhue and completed in 1928. The chapel's 63 m tall tower makes it the highest building on campus, and it can sit about 1,700 people. Finally, if you are interested in Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture but can't make it to this house and studio in Oak Park, you might want to stop by Robie House (http://www.gowright.org/robiehouse/robiehouse.html). Designed in 1908 and furnished with furniture also designed by Wright, it is considered one of the finest examples of Wright's Prairie School houses. It is currently being restored and should be completely open to the public in 2010 to celebrate the house's centenial.

    So all this to say that if you get the chance, I would recommend going for a nice stroll through the beautiful campus of the University of Chicago! The 59th Street Metra station will take you just a short walk away from the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. One-hour guided walking tours led by university students are also offered daily by the Office of College Admissions(Rosenwald Hall, 1101 East 58th Street).

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Architecture

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    Visit the site of the 1893 World's Fair

    by Jefie Updated Oct 18, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The World's Fair's Palace of Fine Arts
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    Although I didn't have enough time to visit the Museum of Science and Industry, I was still really glad that Kristi (Dabs) took me there as part of our South Side tour since it gave me a chance to see the site of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. When Chicago was granted the privilege of hosting the World's Fair, city representatives picked Jackson Park as the site of the event. Jackson Park had been designed in 1871 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (of Central Park fame), and although a few adjustments were made to allow for the construction of the different pavilions, for the most part the park remained true to its original aquatic theme. The museum is located in the only remaining pavilion of the Fair, a beautiful neo-classical building designed by Charles B. Atwood that includes 270 Ionic columns and 24 caryatids. During the World's Fair, the building was known as the Palace of Fine Arts, and it sits by a quiet lagoon that makes for beautiful pictures!

    Perhaps the best way to get to the Museum of Science and Industry is to travel by Metra train (stop at the 55th-56th-57th St. station). If you'd like to immerse yourself in the World's Fair atmosphere, home of the world's first ferris wheel, Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum and one of America's first serial killers, you can pick up a copy of Erik Larson's "The Devil in the White City" :o)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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    Site of first nuclear chain reaction

    by meteorologist1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Mushroom cloud sculpture by Henry Moore

    It was in Chicago that the first self-sustaining chain reaction and the controlled release of nuclear energy was conducted. The site is at the University of Chicago. There is a sculpture which symbolizes a mushroom cloud by Henry Moore at the site. This site is declared as a Chicago Landmark.

    The site is on South Ellis Ave. between 56th and 57th streets at the University of Chicago.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
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    Rockefeller Chapel

    by meteorologist1 Updated Aug 13, 2003

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    Rockefeller Chapel

    The Rockefeller Chapel, also known as the University of Chicago Chapel, is the biggest church on the University of Chicago campus. The carillon tower contains 72 cast bronze cup-shaped bells, the second largest such instrument in the world. The structure has a length of 265 feet 2 inches, and a width of 120 feet 1.5 inches. The top of the tower is 200 feet 8 inches above floor level, and 207 feet above the street.

    This neo-gothic style church is used for concerts, chamber choirs and orchestra activities, speeches, graduation, and new student orientation. The structure is magnificent from the outside and also impressive on the inside.

    Located at the University of Chicago, Hyde Park (Chicago's Southside). 5850 South Woodlawn Avenue.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture
    • Study Abroad

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    Neighborhoods-Washington Park

    by Dabs Written Jun 20, 2004

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    Cricket in Washington Park
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    As we were driving through Washington Park, my husband spotted the most curious thing I've seen in awhile in Chicago, cricket being played in a predominantly African American neighborhood! So we pulled over to take a better look, there were four cricket matches underway, the team closest to us were all Indian (from India, not native Americans). We stopped and chatted for a bit, apparently this is the only place in the city of Chicago that has organized cricket (several suburbs do as well). The season runs from May to October.

    One of the players patiently tried to teach us the rules of cricket and although I now know a few cricket terms, I'm afraid I am no closer to understanding the game.

    And I was going to ask what a sticky wicket was, but declined in fear that it might be obscene ;-)

    Note to visitors: Washington Park is not the nicest neighborhood but it is just outside the boundaries of Hyde Park. You probably will not find that you will want to venture into Washington Park unless you have a car and even then you'll want to be careful and definitely do not go at night.

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    The Statue of Time

    by dlandt Written Jun 11, 2003

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    This statue is recently renovated, having been around since the days of President Taft. It located on the South Side, but don't be scared unless you choose to drive back on one of the side streets west of Washington Park. The park itself is huge, and the statue is located in its SE corner. What is depicted here is mankind in various moods and poses marching forwards through the ages while Father Time gazes on. Its FREE.

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    Washington Park-Fountain of Time

    by Dabs Updated Sep 7, 2007

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    Fountain of Time-2007
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    Lorado Taft's Fountain of Time sits on the border between Hyde Park and Washington Park at the west end of the Midway Plaisance

    Completed in 1922, the 102 foot sculpture features a hooded Father Time watching over a wave of 100 human figures with a relecting pool in between. One of my photos is from 2004 when the reflecting pool was drained during restoration work which has now been completed.

    Taft died before he finished his last work, the Fountain of Creation, which would have been placed at the opposite end of the Midway. Several of the statues can be seen on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana.

    Another of his works can be seen in Chicago in Graceland Cemetery, the eerie "Eternal Silence" marking the Graves family plot.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Hyde Park I: Nuclear Energy

    by sambarnett Written Nov 2, 2002

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       December 2, 1942, 3:53 in the afternoon, the first controlled release of nuclear energy took place, making Chicago the birthplace of the bomb. The release was supposed to take place at a reactor in a forest preserve some 20 miles away, but a labor strike and impatient scientists (seemingly with little regard for public safety) forced the experiment site to a squash court underneath an abandoned football stadium.

       Nuclear Energy, designed in 1967 by Henry Moore marks the exact location of the reaction. Walk around the bronze sculpture, the eyes of the skull/mushroom cloud seem to follow you. A provocative, chilling momument to an ever-looming threat.

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    Hyde Park II: University of Chicago

    by sambarnett Written Nov 2, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rockefeller Chapel

       John D. Rockefeller called the University the best investment he ever made. At $35 million dollars in 1892, that’s really saying something. No doubt Rockefeller would still be pleased today, the U of C racks up Nobel Prizes at a faster rate than most universities collect sports championships.

       Most of the campus is beautiful. The Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, completed in 1928, is a stunning English cathedral and the courtyard in the Classics Quadrangle is green and peaceful. Other buildings, like the Joseph Regenstein Library look painfully out of place. Library architect Walter Netsch is best known around town for the equally questionable University of Chicago at Illinois campus, southwest of The Loop. The plain Midway Plaisance, connecting Jackson and Washington parks, badly needs a sprucing up.

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    Sports and Nature

    by PetraG Written Jan 19, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington Park Chicago
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    Washington Park is a 380 acre (1.5 km?) park between Cottage Grove Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard, (formerly known as "South Park"). Laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1870s, interesting sights are the DuSable Museum of African American History and its sculpture garden, the Lorado Taft sculpture Fountain of Time, and an architecturally distinctive National Guard regiment. Washington Park is a social center of the South Side and hosts many festivals in the summer, including Chicago's best organized cricket league. In Native Son, Bigger Thomas drives the drunken Jan Erlone and Mary Dalton around Washington Park, as the two embrace.

    With an expansive collection of picturesque lakes, green fields and sturdy trees, this is one of the gems of the Chicago Park district. You can find just about any outdoor activity you?d like, including a swath of baseball diamonds, indoor swimming, basketball and the city?s only public cricket field. A casual stroll across the park will reveal numerous fishermen lazily tossing bait and tackle into small lakes all afternoon. The design of the park, completed in the late 1800s by the father of American landscaping, Frederick Law Olmsted, incorporates lagoons with footbridges and wooded islands to fashion an incredibly relaxing urban oasis.

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  • PetraG's Profile Photo

    Sports and Nature

    by PetraG Written Jan 19, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington Park is a 380 acre (1.5 km?) park between Cottage Grove Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard, (formerly known as "South Park"). Laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1870s, interesting sights are the DuSable Museum of African American History and its sculpture garden, the Lorado Taft sculpture Fountain of Time, and an architecturally distinctive National Guard regiment. Washington Park is a social center of the South Side and hosts many festivals in the summer, including Chicago's best organized cricket league. In Native Son, Bigger Thomas drives the drunken Jan Erlone and Mary Dalton around Washington Park, as the two embrace.

    With an expansive collection of picturesque lakes, green fields and sturdy trees, this is one of the gems of the Chicago Park district. You can find just about any outdoor activity you?d like, including a swath of baseball diamonds, indoor swimming, basketball and the city?s only public cricket field. A casual stroll across the park will reveal numerous fishermen lazily tossing bait and tackle into small lakes all afternoon. The design of the park, completed in the late 1800s by the father of American landscaping, Frederick Law Olmsted, incorporates lagoons with footbridges and wooded islands to fashion an incredibly relaxing urban oasis.

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    University of Chicago

    by leics Written Oct 20, 2012
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    If you have time it's worth a trip out and a wander round the central part of the university campus, and to see the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel (see tip).

    I'm intrigued by the mock-ancient building style of this university (and Yale,and, I suspect, some other older US universities). But it does, surprisingly, work..the Gothic twiddles and flourishes, the leaded windows, the ivy growing over the buildings.

    I didn't have a huge amount of time to explore the Main Quadrangle ('the Quads'), the heart of the 'older' buildings, but I enjoyed what I saw. Mature trees, shady spots, lawns ...and a feel of 'old' which was very pleasant. The oldest building is actually Cobb Hall, and that only dates from 1892.

    It's definitely worth exploring if you are in the area or have time to spare. The Oriental Institute, on the edge of the Quads, has an apparently superb collection of ancient Near Eastern artefacts (www.oichicago.edu).

    There are also daily walking tours of the campus led by students, which might be interesting:

    http://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/visiting/tours/

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Photography
    • Architecture

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    Hyde Park-Knight statue

    by Dabs Updated Jun 20, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Statue to honor T. Masaryk

    At the eastern end of the Midway in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago is an equestrian statue of a Bohemian knight to honor Thomas Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia.

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