Hyde Park has long been one of the most interesting Chicago neighborhoods, thanks largely in part to its being the site of the University of Chicago. This university, which was founded in 1892 by John D. Rockefeller, is one of the most esteemed institutions of higher learning in the United States. Its presence in Hyde Park Chicago is undeniable, and it contributes significantly to the neighborhood's culturally rich identity.
Hyde Park is also renowned for being the city's most successful neighborhood with respect to racial integration. Since the 1950s, Hyde Park has been striving to maintain high standards when it comes to racial integration, and this has helped make it one of the South Side's most economically viable areas. A joy to explore, the diverse and liberal Hyde Park Chicago Illinois neighborhood has a lot to offer both residents and visitors.
When planning neighborhood tours in Chicago, Hyde Park definitely deserves consideration. You'll find the Hyde Park Chicago Illinois neighborhood on the city's South Side, some six to seven miles from the Loop. Lake Michigan forms the eastern boundary of Hyde Park in Chicago, while the neighborhood of Washington Park borders it to the west. The northern Hyde Park Chicago boundary is formed by 51st Street, and the neighborhood extends as far south as 60th Street.
It has been argued that Hyde Park extends into the Kenwood area between 47th Street and 51st Street, and as such, this area is often called Hyde Park-Kenwood. The Hyde Park-Kenwood area begs a look when enjoying Hyde Park Chicago tours, as it is home to both the Robie House and Chicago Pile-1. The former is a renowned residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the latter is the site of the planet's first artificial nuclear reactor. There isn't a lot to see at the Chicago Pile-1 site, save for a commemorative sculpture, but you can head to the Museum of Science and Industry if you want to view a relic from the first man-made nuclear reaction.
The Museum of Science and Industry, which first opened to the public in 1933, is the top attraction in Hyde Park, and it's also one of the top overall attractions in Chicago. This large museum, which is housed in the Palace of Fine Arts building, has an excellent array of interactive exhibits for visitors to enjoy, and you could easily spend the better part of a day here, though you'll want to remember to leave plenty of time for shopping and dining during your trip to Hyde Park in Chicago. As one might imagine, the presence of the University of Chicago has helped to attract an array of shops and restaurants to the area.
The Palace of Fine Arts building, in which the Museum of Science and Industry is housed, is not only beautiful, but also historically significant. In 1893, Chicago hosted the World's Columbian Exposition, which was an internationally focused celebration that marked the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyage to America. Hyde Park's Midway Plaisance region was the center of affairs for this celebration, and many buildings were built here for the event. Of these buildings, only the Palace of Fine Arts has survived over time. Today, the mile-long linear park that is the Midway Plaisance forms the southern edge of the University of Chicago campus. A mostly open green space, it is an ideal place to relax for a while during your visit to Hyde Park in Chicago.
A Hyde Park Chicago Illinois visit has something for everyone, which is why you'll want to make it a point to drop in for at least a few hours on your next Chicago vacation. In addition to the Robie House and the Museum of Science and Industry, Hyde Park Chicago visitors can also consider visiting places such as the DuSable Museum of African American History, the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, and the Oriental Institute, among others. Taking in some performing arts is also possible in Hyde Park, thanks to institutions like the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel Music Series, the Muntu Dance Theatre, and the University of Chicago Presents.
Tours of the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities can be booked for those who are interested. In addition to highlighting key attractions, these tours also offer insight into the lives of famous past residents, which include Carl Sandburg, Enrico Fermi, Muhammad Ali, and President Barack Obama. As for getting to Hyde Park in Chicago, you can drive, take a taxi, or depend on public transportation.