• The Chicago skyline from the south.
  • A patron browses the new books table at the Seminary Coop Bookstore

Living in Hyde Park

Hyde Park is a diverse, multilayered, culture- and history-rich neighborhood on Chicago's mid south side. 

Photograph of the original Ferris Wheel from the 1893 World's Fair.

Hyde Park's origins are as a summer retreat for well-to-do Chicagoans in the mid-19th century, and in 1893, the neighborhood played host to the World's Columbian Exposition, including the original Ferris Wheel. Today, Hyde Park boasts the Seminary Co-op BookstoreFrank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Hyde Park Art Center, and the world-famous Museum of Science and Industry, which resides in the last remaining building of the Columbian Exposition's famed "White City."  

Hyde Park's residents enjoy easy access to the Chicago Lakefront Trail and 57th Street Beach, skyline views of downtown Chicago from Promontory Pointe, an extensive network of parks and green spaces, an array of coffee shops, and a burgeoning commercial and culinary scene. Diverse houses of worship abound, as do child- and family-friendly events, places, and businesses. Summer highlights include the 57th Street Art Fair, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, several farmers' markets, and an old-fashioned Fourth of July parade.  

Visit http://hydepark.uchicago.edu/ for an introduction to our historic and vibrant neighborhood, and be sure to follow the progress of the 53rd Street redevelopment project. To learn more about graduate student housing options, neighborhood amenities, and cost of living considerations, use the menu links to the left, and be sure to check out our Living in Hyde Park FAQ page.

Professor Wendy Doniger discusses architecture on campus and the ways in which it conduces to UChicago's atmosphere of interdisciplinary inquiry.

If you experience any technical difficulties with this video or would like to make an accessibility-related request, please send a message to divinityadmissions@uchicago.edu .

Click on the linked cover images below to download copies of the University's "Hyde Park Living" and "This is Chicago" brochures, which introduce the neighborhood and the city from a University perspective. To download additional brochures, visit our Virtual Brochure Shelf.

Cover of This is Chicago brochure          Cover of Hyde Park Living brochure


Henry Moore's Nuclear Energy sculpture

Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1) 

The Chicago Pile-1 was the world's first artificial nuclear reactor, built in the squash court under the west bleachers of the old site of the University of Chicago's Stagg Field athletic complex. CP-1's construction was part of the Manhattan Project and was overseen by Enrico Fermi (1901-1954). The pile went critical on December 2, 1942, creating the first self-sustained nuclear chain reaction. Today, Henry Moore's sculpture, Nuclear Energy (pictured right), marks the site.


Jackson Park's Osaka Garden

Jackson Park's Osaka Garden

The Osaka Garden composes part of Jackson Park's Wooded Island, which was created when Frederick Law Olmstead dredged canals for the fairgrounds he designed for the 1893 World's Fair. Olmstead wanted the fairgrounds and island to serve as a countervailing, natural stress to hubbub of the fair—turning down requests from Tedy Roosevelt and other parties to use the space for exhibition purposes. 


The Wreck of the Silver Spray

When the conditions are right, one can see what appears to be a rock formation just off the shore of Hyde Park's 49th Street Beach. In fact, this "rock formation" is the boiler from the Silver Spray which ran aground on Morgan Shoal on July 15, 1914—on its way to pick up a group of University of Chicago students to transport them to a tour of the steel mills in Gary, Indiana. If you are feeling adventuresome on a sunny summer day, you can snorkle out to explore—at least until (and unless) a proposed shore-fill project covers Morgan Shoal (and the shipwreck remnants) to create additional lakefront park space. Click the above link for a Chicago Reader article on the shipwreck and the one-man crusade to preserve the site as a historic landmark.