In the 1890’s, as architect Daniel Burnham envisioned the World’s Fair that attracted millions of visitors to the area now known as Hyde Park, the University of Chicago began construction of a sprawling campus that would become the cornerstone of the neighborhood’s development. Because of its location – proximate to the downtown business center but far enough from it to be untouched by its congestion and pollution- Hyde Park attracted residents who wanted to enjoy the benefits of the bustling urban center as well as the peaceful natural beauty of Lake Michigan and its surrounding greenery. As the neighborhood grew rapidly in the first half of the 20th century, its architecture quickly rose to meet the growing demand for mansions, apartment buildings, and hotels, specifically apartment hotels that afforded the luxuries of hotel service to permanent residents. Architectural styles reflected a mix of romantic nostalgia for the classic styles of Europe and a progressive embracement of the forms developed alongside new technologies. The resulting diversity of architectural expression is today one of Hyde Park’s most cherished features.
Today Hyde Park is a thriving community, lauded as one of the most culturally diverse in the country. Historic and luxury apartment buildings and single family homes mingle along tree-lined streets. Interwoven is an eclectic mix of restaurants and shops, museums and exhibition spaces. With its proximity to the lakefront and easy access to the Loop via public transportation or Lake Shore Drive, Hyde Park continues to attract and foster a uniquely dynamic, vibrant, and engaged urban community.