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Hyde Park/Washington Park Tips (14)

Neighborhoods-Hyde Park

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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Dabs
Jun 20, 2004

Walking through the University of Chicago campus

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).

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Jefie
Oct 18, 2008

Visit the site of the 1893 World's Fair

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)

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Jefie
Oct 18, 2008

Site of first nuclear chain reaction

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.

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meteorologist1
Apr 04, 2011
 
 
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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.

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meteorologist1
Aug 13, 2003

Neighborhoods-Washington Park

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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Dabs
Jun 20, 2004

The Statue of Time

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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dlandt
Jun 11, 2003

Washington Park-Fountain of Time

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.

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Dabs
Sep 07, 2007
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Hyde Park I: Nuclear Energy

   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.

sambarnett
Nov 01, 2002

Hyde Park II: University of Chicago

   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.

sambarnett
Nov 02, 2002

Sports and Nature

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
Jan 19, 2006

Sports and Nature

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
Jan 19, 2006

Things To Do in Chicago

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Chinatown

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National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum

Chicago's Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, located on the Riverwalk between Wabash Avenue and State Street, is one of the largest in the nation outside of Washington, D.C. It features a fountain and a...
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Monument to the Great Northern Migration

This moving fifteen foot tall statue stands at the northern entry into historic Bronzeville. Encouraged by reports from those who went before, as well as the influential Chicago Defender newspaper,...
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Adler Planetarium

Opened in 1930, this is the oldest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere and it is a wonderful place. It has several different shows, a collection of astronomical and location-finding instruments, and...
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Soldier Field

Attention sports fans! This is a must-see for all of you. It's one of the most famous stadiums in the world. Like most things in Chicago, Soldier Field has a grand style of architecture that reflects...
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Buddy Guy's Legends

If you are fortunate enough to be planning a trip to Chicago for January, check Ticketmaster for Buddy Guy's annual headlining weekend events at his own club: Legend's. It is the best $30 that you'll...
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