Preservation, Hyde Park-Kenwood History, and Architecture
A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, its Preservation/Development and Zoning task force and its website, www.hydepark.org. Contact Gary Ossewaarde. Help support HPKCC's work: Join the Conference!
program home. Committees.
About HPKCC. Quality
of Life Hot Topics and Issues. Development
Hot Issues. Development
Home. Southside Preservation Action Fund.
Neighbors looking back and ahead at 2009 forum. Neighborhood Profiles. View HPKCC historical urban renewal epoch pictures online from Regenstein special collections, http://photofiles.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?show=browse2.xml|117
The Midway Plaisance, HPKCC's first interactive neighborhood and historic tour, by Trish Morse. HPKCC's At the Society. Hyde Park Historical Society website.
Frederick Douglass Monument Dedication, Commemorative booklet with important maps and drawings.
To index of history, preservation pages. Two books about Barack Obama and the Kenwood Obama house.
HISTORY AND PRESERVATION SUBJECT PAGES IN THIS WEBSITE.
Visit Profiles of Hyde
Park and Kenwood.
Urban Renewal home.
of Chicago Library announced in Oct. 2015 a one-portal to 21 libraries and collections
with Chicago history.
About National Register designation (main Hyde Park). Hyde Park Historical Society- hydeparkhistory.org, Facebook http://facebook.com/hydeparkhistory
FInd It in Chicago Collections-- finding aides and much more linking historical and other collections at Chicagop libraris, universities and other institutions: chicagocollections.org.
UPDATE: (Feb. 28 2016) Good News- The Shrine of Christ the King at 64th and Kimbark will be rebuilt. The deed is being given to the Institute by the Archdiocese. Nearly a million of needed $6 M has been raised; the Institute must raise the rest. Fundraisers ares bring planned. Engineers have been hired. Stabilization will be first priority. Cleanup and start of phase i, stabilization began the week of April 25.
Sadly, Christ the King Shrine (64th and Woodlawn) church was heavily damaged by fire (unsupicious) October 6 2015. Whether and how much will have to be demolished was as yet undetermined. A week or so before a historic home in the Kenwood District at 4819 S. Kimbark, also undergoing renovation work, was heavily damaged and perhaps destroyed by fire. See Hyde Park Historical Society letter.
Many persons and organizations including HPHS fought to save from demolition by the Archioscene this former St. Gelasius/St. Clara church and have it landmarked and reused religiously. January 2016- after the serious fire in October, the Archdiocese has decided to tear the structure down. There is not insurance and the A says rebuilding would be cost prohibitive. The A has offered another, vacant Catholic church building or to tobuild a smaller structure on the site.
AS OF FEBRUARY 8, 2016, SAVE THE SHRINE HAD RAISED OVER $450,000 (Feb 23 $650,000 IN PLEDGES TO STABILIZE AND POTENTIALY START THE REBUILDING, IF THE ARCHDIOSECE WILL AGREE. However, the Archdiocese has gotten its demolition permit. The Coalition to Save the Shrine has put up a narrated video.
According to Jack Spicer, The hearing room Jan 7 2016 was packed with people who came to support St Gelasius. People from the congregation and from the surrounding community testified to the importance to them of the historic church building. The people asked the Commissioners merely for more time to find a way to save the building.
The Commission replied that all it could do was insist that the owner, the Archdiocese of Chicago, protect the public from potential danger as a result of the recent fire. The Archdiocese can choose how to do that -- rebuild, stabilize, or demolish; but it must do something. The Archdiocese claims it cannot afford to rebuild or even stabilize, and has obtained a demolition permit. They could begin demolition at any moment.
The people asked the commissioners to use their influence to encourage the Archdiocese to give the congregation and the community more time to save their church. If you would like to add your voice to those who are asking the Archdiocese for more time, please go to this website:
Updates and opportunities to support preservation of the FL Wright Blossom and MacArthur houses- visit http://www.wright4kenwood.org. The McArthur House was sold at a little under $1 million to a couple who said they will restore and use it as a single-family home. Thus the idea of a bread-and-breakfast, strongly opposed by a part of the neighbors will not be resurrected. The Blossom House, which needs more repair faces an uncertain future, though efforts to sell were renewed.
For sale not far from here- the historic Chicago Orphan Assylum Building (aka Chicago Baptist College), 5120 S. King. Hotels are interested, especially since it is close to an Obama Library site.
September 2014. The Chicago Commission on Landmarks awards for excellence in preservation and restoration included the Shoreland Apartments (nee Hotel, now restored and run by MAC Properties) at 5454 South Shore Drive and Lorado Taft's Midway Studios (restorations including to porch and skylights as part of the Logan Center project for the University of Chicago)
Meanwhile Frank Lloyd Wright's McArthur House has been sold and the Blossom House (in poorest condition) is under contract after drastic reduction in price and neighborhood controversy over a rescue offer as a bed and breakfast. Whether the new owners will restore or remodel or do some of both was as yet unclear according to Sam Cholke in DNAinfo.
The graystones in the 5100 block of Harper that Antheus had said it would restore, but now says it cannot and needs the land for parking and truck turning for Village Hyde Park, were torn down in spring 2014. The land adjoins that that once was the homestead of Hyde Park founder Paul Cornell, have grand facades, and pre-date the Fair (1888).
See WTTW July 2013 interview with Susan O'Connor Davis on her new book Historic Hyde Park: http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2013/07/24/chicagos-historic-hyde-park
Chicago Metro History Fair seeks judges each spring- see History Fair page.
Highly recommended new book: Susan Davis, Chicago's Historic Hyde Park (2013, University of Chicago Press)
Blues great Muddy Waters' house is apparently deemed in dangerous condition by the city and placed in court--action held in abeyance for now. See the following site for information and link to a petition. http://savemuddywatershouse.weebly.com.
Phoenix panels from the Columbian Exposition reunited, restored, on display at Art Institute.- Visit Columbian Expo page.
Add to the landmarks list: The Shoreland by Antheus Capital.
in June 2011 Reporter on saving Harper Theater
shows how preservation and development can work together.
LINKS TO OTHER history and preservation websites and organizations.
John Boyer, Dean of the College at University of Chicago, has written a series of monographs analyzing the history of the University of Chicago-- of course deeply referenced- Index/info about is at http://college.uchicago.edu/about-college/college-publications.
Visit http://www.hydeparkhistory.org. Contact them for a service that asks knowledgeable people answers to your Hyde Park History questions.
Archives finding aid: Find sections of the archives digital finding aid as it comes online at http://ead.lib.uchicago.edu including Hyde Park Co-op. It's online- latest and links.
Theological Seminary- see in its own
by Gary Ossewaarde
In this page. Resources, places. Books about
Find in chicagoweekly.net a review of Devereux Bowly's "The Poorhouse" under the title Building Stories.
Find Susan Day O'Connor's series on Lost Hyde Park running in the Hyde Park Herald- find it in the Herald archives--
hpherald.com/chicagos-historic-hyde-park/ based on her book, Chicago's Historic Hyde Park.
May 27, Friday and May 28, Saturday, 2 and 7 pm. The Revival. "The Chicago Conspiracy," a play inspired by the Jane Collaborative of c 1970. Also Saturday 3 and 7. 1160 E. 55th St.
May 28, Saturday, 2-4 pm. DuSable Museum Archival Workshp. Learn preservation methods. 740 E. 56th Pl. 773 947-0600.
August 21, Sunday, 2 pm. Hyde Park Historical Society and Montgomery Place present Hyde Park Stories Share. Theme tbd. 5550 South Shore Drive.
See in Arts and Culture and civic calendars- lots of historical exhibits (permanent and temporary) at Crerar Library, DuSable Museum, Oriental Institute, Robie House, Smart Museum, Special Collections at Joseph Regenstein Library.
Recent books: Susan O'Connor Davis, "Historic Hyde Park"; Vincent Michael, "The Architecture of Barry Byrne: Taking the Prairie School to Europe."
Continuing- many temporary and permanent exhibits at DuSable Museum.
Your support is needed for Underground Railroad tour training program.
Youth and adults will participate in learning historical narration of Civil War era in Chicago.
Funding is needed for1860's garments to be worn by participants
Donate online TODAY at
This is Bronzeville Historical Society new website.
Take a look at the website.
Thank You in advance.
- Sherry Williams
Founder and President
Bronzeville Historical Society
A new resource- John W. Boyer, The University of Chicago: A History. University of Chicago Press, 2015
September 1, The Commission on Chicago Landmarks presented preservation awards
for 12 structures that have undergone outstanding preservation and restoration
and demonstrate "a remarkable commitment to Chicago's architectural and
historic legacy" according to Commissioner Andrew Mooney.
Three of the four are in South and North Kenwood, the latter a Landmark District:
4727 S. Greenwood- James and Irene Pillars. Romanesque single-family residence that was severely damaged by fire in 2009.
4853 S. Kimbark Ave- David adn Rebecca Rubin. Exterior renovation of a Queen Anne.
4401 S. Berkley Ave. Exterior renovation of a three-story graystone row house.
Presentation is at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington.
Hyde Park Historical Society Oral history project takes big step forward- More contributions are needed but the initial goal has been met. -- contact the email re contributing.
Release from the Society September 2010
For additional information contact: Kathy Huff, Co-Chair Oral History Committee 773-241-7141 - HPORALHISTORY@gmail.com
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT TAKES A BIG STEP FORWARD.
The goal of the Hyde Park Historical Society’s new Oral History Project is to produce high quality electronic records of interviews with well-known Hyde Parkers. The result will be a permanent history easily accessible to students, scholars, and the community at large from the Society's Archives which are housed in the Special Collections Research Center in the Regenstein Library at The University of Chicago. Other outcomes would include a written publication and the use of oral histories at monthly Historical Society programs.
Over the past years the Society and the Hyde Park/Kenwood community have shown enthusiasm in preserving local history through an oral history program. Ideally, the program would bring documents and other materials to life by individuals who can place them in the context of the times in which they were written. Proof of community interest in oral history lies in the attendance at a community seminar led by Lala Rodgers at the Blackstone Library in August, 2009: more than 75 enthusiastic history lovers overflowed the meeting room.
Currently, the Society has 35 oral histories recorded on audio cassette tapes (Leon Despres, Earl Dickerson, William Keck, Barbara Krell, Robert Picken, and Stephanie Breslauer among others). There are written transcriptions for most of the recordings, but some still need to be transcribed. The Oral History Committee, co-chaired by Kathy Huff and Lala Rogers, seeks start-up funding for electronic recording and projection equipment for producing and presenting new oral histories in an updated DVD format. Also, funds will be needed for training interviewers, preparing transcriptions, and for digitizing older audio tapes, all of which are critical steps in making the oral histories a permanent record.
The start-up cost for the project is estimated to be $7,000. Already, the Hyde Park Bank has helped to jump start the Hyde Park Historical Society's effort to raise the necessary funds to support the Oral History Project with a very generous donation.
The Committee plans to obtain further support from local businesses, foundations, and individuals. A letter has been sent to the Society's membership and friends, and there are two fundraising events planned for October 17th and for November 14th which will benefit the Oral History Project.
Those interested in contributing to the support of this project, please contact: Kathy Huff at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to: www.hydeparkhistory.org for more information.
Presenters at the February 8, 2010 TIF town meeting described how they looked at current problems from a perspective of looking for anti-historical mistakes made in the past, particularly Urban Renewal. The latter destroyed both retail and residential density and options and an identifiable, walkable, inviting grid. they seek to restore the instinctive ideas behind the original Hyde Park heart.
By Gary Ossewaarde
Hyde Park has had several defining moments, is this another?: Lakeshore suburban resort after Paul Cornell won one of the first commuter stops in the country. Growth after the Chicago Fire to become a larger resort with mansions and hotels. Annexation to Chicago, then World's Columbian Exposition and founding of the 2nd University of Chicago and huge parks fill in an upper middle and upper class solid neighborhood while growing its cottage homes, commercial districts to serve much of the South Side and keeping the resort aspect too. In the 1920s the Illinois Central is electrified leading to a dense belt in the east and three-flat infill west. Decline of housing and commercial and changing demographics lead to a crisis in which the University, neighbors and city undertake massive urban renewal while keeping a varied historic housing stock. A sense of unease by some that the neighborhood is being left behind while the rest of the South Side starts to revive, infill and become a new Mid South, University growth and desire that the neighborhoods around it match its ambitions, and unease by others at prospects of change and especially threat to affordability for present residents, all put Hyde Park at a crossroads in the new millennium--destination community or not? -- and at that moment comes prospects of Olympics though dashed, Antheus Capital as a dynamic new player, possible Obama Effect, and the backlash side of a bubble unable to stop a huge U C Harper Court/53rd-Lake Park development .
An interesting look at the early period is in Hyde Park Politics 1861-1919. Another intro is Max Grinnell, Hyde Park Chicago (Arcadia). Visit James Withrow's Last 60 Years in the Anniversary Kickoff page.
And did you know that the preservation movement in Chicago got a major spur from Hyde Park's work to save Wright's Robie House, led by Ald. Leon and Marian Despres. Marian was a founder of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Much of Hyde Park and Kenwood is on the National Register and we have a number of city historic districts.
Trish Morse writes; For history and trivia junkies, I just stumbled into a great app called Field Trip. https://www.fieldtripper.com/ It lets you know all kinds of facts about anything you are near based on your GPS--history, restaurants, buildings, bridges... Totally addictive. The domu apartment website has a Chicago history map link at the very bottom of the page. Of course Hyde Park has lots of hits. It's pushing restaurants etc. but you can turn categories and sources off
Two Obama books from different perspectives. Rebecca Janowitz, "Culture of Opportunity"; Davis Remnick, "The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama"
The first kiss (1989?) between Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson (future Obama) has been commemorated by a plaque and boulder, paid for by the owners of Dorchester Commons Shopping Center and is in the parkway at 53rd and Dorchester. The kiss was on the curb after he bought her a chocolate ice cream cone at the then-Baskin Robbins --the first building along Dorchester, now a Subway. A different Baskin Robbins, now part of the Dunkin' Donuts chain is in the Dunkin' Donuts at the east side of the shopping center. Mr. Obama recalled in 2007 that they are and kissed on the curb and the kiss tasted like chocolate. The couple was either married or the reception held at South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive, this writer thinks in the Solarium- there is no marker.
Mr. Obama's barber chair is now at the new Hyde Park Barber Shop on East Hyde Park Blvd.
Barack Obama's house, 5046 S. Greenwood in the Kenwood mansion Historic District and across from Chicago Landmark K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation. The street is closed to through traffic and even pedestrian traffic and picture taking is restricted and regulated.
Original owner A. R. Clarke, Contractor who also owned and was the owner/architect for 5040 S. Greenwood, Architect - Bishop & Company Built in 1910 Source - Construction News - May 28, 1910. A Historical Georgian revival home built in 1910 with four fireplaces, glass-door bookcases fashioned from Honduran mahogany, and a 1,000-bottle wine cellar…
More: http://blog.lucidrealty.com/2008/11/02barack-obamas-house/ however, site found but article has error message and requires subscription. A more detailed history is in
http://chicagojewishnews.com/story.htm?sid=1&id=252515 as follows:
THE JEWISH HISTORY OF BARACK OBAMA'S HOUSE
By Charles B. Bernstein and Stuart L. Cohen (11/28/2008)
Its future is to be the Chicago White House. But a look at its past shows the construction of the Obama home was financed by a prominent Chicago Jew, that it was once lived in by a Jewish family and that it was home to both a Jewish day school and a yeshiva...
After Pauline Yearwood's recent startling scoop in the Chicago Jewish News, which revealed that First Lady-elect Michelle Obama is a first cousin, once removed, of Rabbi Capers Funnye, it appeared unlikely that another significant Jewish connection to the Obamas would be found.
A minor connection involved the fact that the Obamas' house, located on the South Side of Chicago at 5046 S. Greenwood Avenue, is located across the street from KAM-Isaiah Israel Congregation, Chicago's oldest Jewish congregation. The Secret Service agents guarding the house use the facilities at the temple. Greenwood is barricaded at both 51st Street and 50th Street and only residents and temple members are allowed to pass through. Temple members have to identify themselves to the Secret Service agents who then call the temple to verify that the visitors are legitimately there and have temple business.
But research shows a far more significant connection between the Obama house and the Jewish community.
Indeed, the title history of the Obama house shows it has a rich Jewish history, one that encompasses both of Chicago's rival communities, the Reform Hyde Park German Jews and the Orthodox West Side Russian Jews.
The earliest document in the county records pertaining to 5046 Greenwood is a construction loan, dated Oct. 4, 1905, obtained by real estate developer Wallace Grant Clark from Moses E. Greenebaum. A prominent mortgage banker and real estate developer, Greenebaum was a member of a pioneer Chicago family which became a leader in both the general and Jewish communities. Moses's father, Elias Greenebaum, came to Chicago in 1848 and eventually entered the mortgage and banking business. Elias's father, Jacob, followed Elias to Chicago, so Moses was already a third generation Chicagoan. Elias was a founder of Sinai Temple, Chicago's first Reform congregation. Elias, Moses and Moses's son Edgar were all presidents of Sinai.
The house was constructed about 1908. In 1919, 5046 Greenwood got its first Jewish owner. Max Goldstine purchased the house along with the vacant lot on the northwest corner of 51st (aka East Hyde Park Boulevard) and Greenwood. The deed from the sellers, Mae Press Hodgkins and William L. Hodgkins, was dated October 21, 1919.
Max Goldstine was a successful Chicago real estate entrepreneur. By today's standards, he made a pretty good investment, buying the property for approximately $13,750, based upon the $15 worth of revenue stamps on the deed. In those days, real estate transfers were taxed by the federal government at $1.10 per thousand.
Both Max Goldstine and his wife, the former Ethel Kline, were born in Hungary and immigrated as children to the United States, where they were married in September, 1901. The Goldstines had three daughters: Lucille, born in 1902, who married Harold Rosenheim; Viola, born in 1905, who married Robert L. Leopold; and Maxine, born in 1908, who married Harold L. Newmann.
Grandson Fred M. Newmann, age 71, a retired professor of education who now lives in Madison, WI, was a very active campaigner on behalf of Obama. While he knew that his mother had grown up on Greenwood Avenue, he never put two and two together until the authors contacted him. He was very excited to learn that the current occupant of his mother's childhood home is the new President-elect.
Granddaughter Nancy Rosenheim, age 83, is married to Robert J. Greenebaum, age 91, son of Edgar N. Greenebaum, Sr., who was the son of mortgage banker Moses Greenebaum mentioned above. Nancy and Bob Greenebaum, who live in Highland Park, have grandchildren who are seventh generation Jewish Chicagoans. Bob was a halfback on the University of Chicago's next-to-last Big Ten football team, an aviator in World War II and treasurer of Inland Steel Co., and is a trustee of the Michael Reese Health Trust.
Nancy recalled that her mother, Lucille Goldstine Rosenheim, told her the family home sported a ballroom on the third floor. Later, Lucille was a dancing teacher on Chicago's South Side. Lucille also published some career stories for teenage girls that Nancy hopes to share with the First Daughters; she thinks they will especially enjoy the dreams of another girl who grew up in the same home.
Dorothy Eckstein Herman Lamson of Highland Park, age 95, grew up at 5125 S. Greenwood and was a childhood friend of Maxine Goldstine. She vividly remembers that Max had constructed a wooden toboggan slide on the adjacent vacant lot and that neighborhood children enjoyed winter sledding there for many years in the early 1920s.
Max and Ethel Goldstine sold the property by deed dated April 1, 1926, to Virginia H. Kendall and Elizabeth K. Wild, as joint tenants. No revenue stamps were affixed to the deed, so the sale price cannot be ascertained.
During the Depression years of the 1930s, the property went through mortgage foreclosure proceedings. The Foreman State Trust & Savings Bank was involved in the mid-1930s. The Foremans were also a prominent Chicago German-Jewish banking family. Family and bank founder Gerhard Foreman (1823-1897) was married to a sister of the aforementioned Elias Greenebaum.
The Hebrew Theological College (HTC), which is now located in Skokie, is an Orthodox rabbinical seminary. It evolved out of several small seminaries and established itself in its present form about 1920. Located on the West Side, its students and supporters were primarily Russian Jewish immigrants and their children.
By the 1940s, a small but dedicated and active group of Orthodox Jews had established itself in Hyde Park. Between 1945 and 1955, several Orthodox and Traditional shuls dotted the Hyde Park landscape, although dwarfed in influence, membership and renown by three large Reform temples, Sinai, KAM and Isaiah-Israel (KAM and Isaiah Israel merged in 1972; KAM's former building, located three blocks away from 5046 Greenwood on Drexel Boulevard, now serves as headquarters of Rainbow/PUSH).
HTC, known colloquially as "the Yeshiva," wanted to establish a South Side base to service this Orthodox community. A Milwaukee philanthropist, Anna Sarah Katz, donated $50,000 to HTC, which enabled it to purchase the 5046 Greenwood property. It obtained title from the First National Bank of Chicago, which had acquired the property by taking over the Foreman bank when it went bankrupt during the Depression.
The Special Warranty Deed to the Hebrew Theological College was dated March 26, 1947. Affixed to the deed were Federal revenue stamps totaling $37.40, which calculates out to a purchase price of about $34,000. Simultaneously with the purchase, HTC conveyed a mortgage to Dovenmuele, Inc., a mortgage company, for $20,000, payable $500 every three months until May 9, 1957. The mortgage was signed by Rabbi Oscar Z. Fasman, long time president of the Yeshiva, and Samuel S. Siegel, secretary. A report in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, Sept. 22, 1947, said: "Mrs. Anna Sarah Katz of Milwaukee has purchased a $50,000 plot of land with a building to be contributed to the Hebrew Theological College expansion drive, she announced at a luncheon held yesterday in the college, 3448 Douglas Blvd."
Elise DeBofsky Ginsparg is a member of a leading Hyde Park Orthodox family and now a book reviewer and lecturer on Jewish life. At a meeting of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society on Oct. 28, 2007, as reported in Chicago Jewish History, she recalled: "After my high school classes, I attended the Hebrew Theological College, the Yeshiva High School Branch, located in a mansion on 51st and Greenwood on the northwest corner, directly across the street from Isaiah Israel. The mansion was donated to the Yeshiva by the Anna Sarah Katz family from Wisconsin...I went all through Hebrew grammar school and attended Hebrew high school for four years...We were blessed with marvelous teachers who taught at the Chicago Jewish Academy, now the Ida Crown Jewish Academy, and came to the South Side to teach us." She also recalled that in the late 1940s, the building on Greenwood was the first home of the South Side Jewish Day School. The school later moved to South Shore and became the Akiba Jewish Day School, which later merged with the Solomon Schechter Day School in Hyde Park to become the Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School, which still exists in Hyde Park.
The Tribune reported on Oct. 8, 1950, that the Anna Rubin auxiliary, an affiliate of HTC, would celebrate its 20th anniversary at a dinner at the Anna Sarah Katz building. Proceeds were pledged to the college's scholarship fund which provides free meals and tuition to students.
Hyde Park's Orthodox population began to dwindle in the early 1950s, and in 1954, the Yeshiva sold the property to the Hyde Park Lutheran Church by a deed signed May 21, 1954. The purchase price was $35,000, based on the revenue stamps of $38.50 affixed to the deed. The deed was signed by Rabbi Fasman, who was still president, and Samuel T. Cohen, secretary.
The sale price was a far cry from $1.6 million, the price the Barack and Michelle Obama paid to purchase the house.
It is fitting indeed that the Chicago home of President-elect Obama, who has worked hard to bridge the differences among us, has served as a residence to Christians and Jews, native-born and immigrants, as well as a base for both Jewish and Christian organizations. We Jews might even say it was beshert.
Charles B. Bernstein is a Chicago attorney, genealogist of the Chicago Jewish community, and a founder of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society. Stuart L. Cohen is a Chicago mortgage banker whose avocation is Jewish genealogy and Chicago Jewish history. The authors may be reached at ChicagoJewsPast@aol.com. Page 3 of 1. Top
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Leopold, Loeb and Franks houses:
The Franks house survives in a very run down state on the northwest corner of Hyde Park Blvd. and Ellis Avenue (and is slated for remodeling into two condo homes). The Leopold coach house only survives behind the house on the northwest corner of 48th and Greenwood, at the end of the driveway entered from 48th Street. All that remains of the Loeb estate is a long brick wall, with new houses behind it on the east side of Ellis, in the 5000 block.
Hyde Park is rich in structures of "builded beauty" by Irving K. Pond, Pond and Pond, considered a hundred years ago as up there in originality and importance - and in prolific design- with Sullivan, Burnham/Root, Wright, and Perkins.
Key structures include 5747 S. Blackstone (Thompson House), 5801 Kenwood (Lillie House), 850 E. 58th (American School of Correspondence), 5515 s. Woodlawn (J.Miller 6-flat), 5752 an 5755 Harper (under Solon Beman firm), 5117 an 19 Dorchester, 5531 Woodlawn, 5222 Hyde Park Blvd., 5625 Woodlawn.
By Jack Spicer or Tim Samuelson?: Irving Kane Pond (1858-1939) was a partner with his brother Allen in Pond & Pond, an important architectural firm in Chicago from 1890 through 1929. Their buildings are among the best Chicago examples of the Arts and Crafts style. Among their best known structures are the Hull House dining halls, the American School of Correspondence Building (850 E 58th), the Lillie House (5801 S Kenwood) and several other buildings near the University of Chicago campus. Irving Pond was a distinguished Chicago architect, author, gifted storyteller, and national president of the American Institute of Architects. His richly anecdotal autobiography, published for the first time in 2009, gives us an irreverent account of Chicago architecture and its architects at the turn of the last century. It should be read alongside the autobiographies of Sullivan and Wright to remind us that seminal developments in architecture, like those of the Italian Renaissance, emerge from a collaborative environment, and are not the product of an individual genius working alone.
Irving Pond wrote his autobiography between 1937 and 1939. The handwritten manuscript was given to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1939 where it has been kept since. The lecture is presented by Chicago architect David Swan, who along with Terry Tatum (Supervising Historian and Director of Research for the Landmarks Division, City of Chicago) edited the text of the autobiography and gathered the several hundred photos and line drawings that accompany it. David Swan is a Chicago architect who studied architecture and city planning at IIT. In 2008, David edited and published the facsimile edition of The Book of the Fine Arts Building [Pond for Beman]. His own architecture is listed in the 2004 edition of the AIA Guide to Chicago [and includes Seminary Walk at 58th and Dorchester].
This article from Thursday's Nov. 4 CBS on line describes rededication of a plaque by Lorado Taft memorializing the Iroquois Theater Fire of 1903. It was in Iroquois Hospital then City Hall. The article quotes from Dr. Jean Bandler, the granddaughter of Taft and also the daughter of Sen. Paul H. Douglas.
Lorado Taft Plaque Honored 1903 Iroquois Theatre Fire Victims
CHICAGO (CBS) - A group of aldermen and other civic leaders plan to rededicate a bronze plaque at City Hall, which was sculpted nearly 100 years ago by celebrated artist Lorado Taft.
Ald. Edward Burke (14th) will be joined by other aldermen, and members of the Union League Club and the local arts community in rededicating the sculpture. It has hung near the LaSalle Street entrance of City Hall since the 1960s, but there is no sign or marker to indicate what it is.
The plaque, titled “Sympathy,” is a tribute to the victims of the Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903, which to this day is the deadliest single-building fire in U.S. history. A total of 603 lives were claimed in the fire, more than in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
“This is an interesting tale about an historic piece of art that becomes lost for years in a corner of City Hall’s basement, then is rescued only to spend decades forgotten all over again — while in plain view,” Burke said in a news release.
Some background information on the plaque was found in a Dec. 31, 1911, issue of the Chicago Tribune. The newspaper says the plaque shows “the Motherhood of the World protecting the children of the universe, the body of a child borne on a litter by herculean male figures, with a bereaved mother bending over it.”
The Iroquois Theatre was located at 24-28 W. Randolph St., on the current site of the Ford Center for the Performing Arts-Oriental Theatre. On Dec. 30, 1903, a crowd of people – most of them women and children – were watching a production of “Mr. Bluebeard” when the fire broke out.
Despite advertisements that declared the new theater fireproof, a fire broke out. The fire curtain became stuck as the crowd rushed for hard-to-find or obstructed exits, and hundreds were trapped inside and perished.
The commemorative tablet hung in the waiting room at the old Iroquois Memorial Hospital on what is now Wacker Drive, until the hospital was demolished in 1951. It was left in the City Hall basement until the 1960s, when it was hung inside City Hall.
But with the lack of a marker, its significance has been lost to the public, the news release said.
Taft was a renowned sculptor who lived in Chicago and taught at the Art Institute. He is best known locally for the “Fountain of Time” sculpture at the mouth of the Midway Plaisance in Washington Park.
His granddaughter, Dr. Jean Bandler, expressed gratitude to the City Council for honoring the sculpture in City Hall.
“It is fascinating how treasures from the past turn up, and how things that are forgotten come back again,” said Dr. Bandler, who is also the daughter of the late alderman and Illinois U.S. Senator Paul H. Douglas.
The rededication ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the LaSalle Street entrance to City Hall.
Instagreeter tours continue year round even though the special summer tours from the Hyde Park Art Center Outpost end Sept. 26 for 2009.
Bronzeville Information Center gives tours of Historic Bronzeville every Thursday 12-2 pm. $35. From Supreme Life, 3501 S. King.
Paul Bruce has begun leading a bus and walking tour of HPK. Hyde Park Historical Society received a call from Paul Bruce, former principal of Murray School, requesting additional people to lead tours offered by the Chicago Office of Tourism in Hyde Park. He has been doing them for some time and would like to include additional people as he feels unable to handle all the dates. Guides receive pay, about $75. The tours are usually on weekday afternoons, but some may be on Saturdays. Mr. Bruce has a set route and a very good outline to familiarize guides with the sites along the way. He finds that participants enjoy it more when local people show them around. If you are interested contact Paul Bruce at 773-288-4215.
University of Chicago architectural tours on request, free 773 834-8006
Paul Durica's "Pocket Guide to Hell" tours are often in Hyde Park and Kenwood-- to find out, visit http://southsidesn.wordpress.com/events/
Student-led U of C campus tours weekdays from the Office of College Admissions, 773 834-3929
Citywide neighborhood tours, many of or stopping in Hyde Park, Kenwood and nearby neighborhoods are given by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. CAF's start at destination if of a particular neighborhood; those of the Dept. Cult. Affairs are by bus from the Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph. http://www.chicagoneighborhoodtours.com. http://www.explorechicago.org.
that are nearby but that you may not have noticed
The Promontory Apartments, 5530-32 South Shore Drive were designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for developer Herbert Greenwald in 1947 and was groundbreaking (although not so much so as the first, glass curtain wall design, which was instead used at 860-880 N. Lake Shore Drive). Promontory plans were in 2009 given to the Hyde Park Historical Society archive. The Promontory is developing a website, http://www.miespromontoryapartments.com, to go up in October 2009. Mies also influenced design of the Algonquin Apartments in the 5000 block of Cornell and East End, and designed the School of Social Service Administration on the University of Chicago campus.
The Cornell Store and Flats - 1232 E 75th St (1908). Commissioned by the estate of Hyde Park founder Paul Cornell and designed by Prairie School architect Walter Burley Griffin, this building sat in the middle of the once-thriving Grand Crossing commercial district. A lot of us think it's a masterpiece and a local "cultural historian" thinks it's one of Chicago's 25 Best Buildings.
The Berkeley Cottages - 4119-69 S Berkeley and 4130-62 S Lake Park (1886). These are what's left of a larger "workers' cottage" development designed by Cicero Hine -- with the kind of wood "simple work," beautiful masonry and sense of respect for ordinary people we may not often see again.
5515 S Woodlawn (1894) - By offsetting the two halves of this 6-flat, brothers Irving and Allen Pond solved some of the perennial problems of 6-flat design and created one of the loveliest apartment buildings in Hyde Park. The Pond brothers also did the American School of Correspondence (850 E. 58th) and Midway Studios (6016 S Ingleside) -- both Chicago Landmarks.
The Roloson Houses - 3213-19 S Calumet Av. 1894. Frank Lloyd Wright's only rowhouses. One block west of King Dr. A Chicago Landmark.
The Keck-Gottschalk-Keck Apartments - 5551 S University Av. Another Chicago Landmark. This one's by Hyde Park brothers William and George Fred Keck. If you don't already know, try to guess the date it was built before you look at the plaque.
76th & Greenwood (Grand Crossing) - The empty circle in the middle of this intersection was the site of Paul Cornell's watch factory built in 1870. Hyde Park's founder also built workers' housing nearby. The duplex cottages at 7642-50 Greenwood and the Italianate brick rowhouses at 7745-51 Greenwood are lovely examples.
Yale Apartments, 6565 S. Yale just west of Dan Ryan. 1892. John T. Long. 7 story early residential high-rise has a glass-topped interior atrium and apartment entrances from open balconies.
Houghton House, 5410 S. Harper. 1890, Minard Beers. Queen Anne frame with carved "green men" on either side of the front door frame-one oak and acorn and other magnolia. Rated "Orange" in the Chicago Survey. 5411, across the street, was home of Chicago novelist Henry Blake Fuller.
Washington Park Court, 4900-50 S. Washington Park Court (400 E) behind Provident Hospital. 1895-1905, Henry Newhouse and others.
5451 S Hyde Park Blvd, 1907, Frommann and Jebsen, one of the first of the "luxury apartment buildings" that during the next twenty years replaced most of the earlier frame buildings in central Hyde Park. This is a six-flat (three storeys, no elevator) with some of the most beautiful, elaborate limestone carving in the city, including no less than four "green men" near the entrance.
The Kenna Apartments, 1916, Barry Byrne, at 2214 E 69th St. This early modern three-flat was designed from the inside out -- rather than, "what style would look nice?" the question was, "if the interior plan is functional and well designed, then what will the building look like on the outside?" Sculptor Alfonso Iannelli collaborated, just as he did on Byrne's St Thomas Apostle Church, 1924, at 55th and Kimbark.
In 1889 Prairie School architect George Washington Maher designed seven "modern houses" in a cluster -- 5518 & 22 Hyde Park Blvd and across the alley 5517, 19, 33, 35 & 37 Cornell, all with simplified but highly original ornamentation.
The Garfield Boulevard "L" Station (the old 55th St Green Line Station on the south side of the street), 319 E 55th St, 1892, Myron Church. This was built to serve the huge crowds coming to the Columbian Exposition. A Chicago Landmark.
Story Flat Buildings - SE Corner of 55th and Cornell (the Snail Restaurant bldg), 1928, Newhouse and Bernham, with a gorgeous terra cotta facade made to look like granite (fooled me for 20 years) and the SE Corner of 55th and Hyde Park Blvd, 1909, Henry Tomlinson (Frank L Wright's only partner, ever), the yellow brick building with the flared cornice and basement storefronts.
2 The Garfield Boulevard "L" Station (the old 55th St Green Line Station on the south side of the street), 319 E 55th St, 1892, Myron Church. This was built to serve the huge crowds coming to the Columbian Exposition. A Chicago Landmark.
First Presbyterian Church, 6400 S Kimbark, 1927, Tallmadge and Watson. This is the "new" home of the congregation founded by four women and twelve men in Fort Dearborn in 1833. In the exterior cloister (facing east on Kimbark) of this English Gothic style building, embedded in the walls, is a collection of building material from the congregation's earlier homes -- the better Tribune Tower. And to the south is a solar greenhouse and community garden. As always, please respect private property and do not enter the church grounds (that is, leave the public sidewalk) without asking permission.
4914 S. Greenwood, 1898, Waterman and (Dwight) Perkins. A steel-structure house (4 years after the first). For iron and steel manufacturer Robert Vierling. Important architecturally and structurally, this is one of several in the vicinity undergoing what Jack Spicer calls "loving" restoration.
Groveland Park, 33rd Place and S. Cottage Grove, 1870s. This was part of a large post Civil War, post Fire development on the 60 acre Stephen Douglas lakefront estate. Near it is the Stephen Douglas Monument State Park (the smallest state park in Illinois) with a tall plinth with a statue of Douglas on top. The park has been lovingly maintained over the years.
Ida B. Wells Homes, 37th to 39th on Cottage Grove, 1937. CHA "project" in last stages of demolition.
Bertrand Goldberg in Hyde Park-Kenwood:
48th and Drexel, 1954. A low-cost integrated development ahead of its time.
4820 Greenwood, 1955.
5801 S. Blackstone. Helstein House, of glass, once floated on concrete pillars--it's been moved back on the site, placed on the ground.
Thanks, Jack Spicer, for these tips! See more in Hyde Park-Kenwood built environment, below.
From the Reader feature March 4, 2010
Hyde Park & Kenwood Issue: Beyond Robie House
A tour of some of the neighborhoods' lesser-known architectural gems
By Tim Samuelson
People who live in Hyde Park and Kenwood have never been afraid to speak their minds or, when they build, to raise eyebrows. As a result, their neighborhoods are studded with remarkable buildings, and even the landscape has a distinguished pedigree: the guiding spirit of Frederick Law Olmsted hangs over the area's two great parks, Washington and Jackson.
Some of the buildings are iconic—for instance, Frank Lloyd Wright's ground-hugging Robie House (1910), which stands nearly in the shadow of another icon, Bertram Goodhue's soaring Rockefeller Chapel (1928). And there's the Museum of Science and Industry, the former Palace of Fine Arts and the only structure that survives from the 1893 Columbian Exposition, which Olmsted conjured up with Daniel Burnham.
But those are the names and places everyone knows. Here are buildings that tell little-known tales of strong-willed clients and architects to match.
Robert and Harriet Herrick House
5735 S. University (1900)
The Unhappy Professor: Actually Robert Herrick was not one of those clients. By most accounts he was an unhappy man who always regretted his move from MIT to the University of Chicago in 1893. When not in the classroom as a professor of English and rhetoric, he wrote bitter novels that depicted his new city as a place of sham, shame, and greed.
Herrick dreamed of a traditional English Tudor home for his family, but he was thwarted by Chicago's predilection for creative nonconformity. Rather than hire an architect comfortable with the styles of the past, Herrick for some reason engaged Hugh M.G. Garden, an advocate for Chicago's emerging modern design movement. Instead of picturesque gables and pointed arches, Garden presented the Herrick family with a flat, boxy brick design in which the only traditional elements were the wooden shutters that flanked the upper-story windows in front.
Herrick wanted brick from Boston, and that's where it came from, and perhaps the shutters were another concession to the client. But against Garden's hard-edged geometry they were also a modernist touch decades ahead of its time: as the Herrick's opened and closed their shutters, the front of their home became an ever-changing composition of random patterns.
Letters survive in which Herrick grumbles about his house, and his feelings are suggested by the unflattering depiction of architects and builders in his 1904 novel, The Common Lot. But today, even missing its signature shutters, the Herrick House seems as contemporary as ever among its street's more traditional dwellings of similar vintage.
St. Thomas the Apostle Church
5472 S. Kimbark (1924)
The Progressive Priest vs. the Passionate Architect: When Hyde Park's St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic church decided it needed larger quarters in the early 1920s, the building that resulted was far from the usual fare of Gothic arches, soaring steeples, and baroque shrines. Under the leadership of the Reverend Thomas Vincent Shannon, the church secured the services of architect Barry Byrne, whose passion for creative architecture was fanned while he was a young draftsman in Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park studio. Byrne was a devout Roman Catholic strongly committed to bringing church architecture into the modern age.
His conception for St. Thomas proved to be a milestone in contemporary Catholic church design. On the streetscape it conveyed reverence and respect, with a solid-looking presence that drew the eye upward to the heavens. Yet at the same time it celebrated its identity as a building of brick—with flat walls, ziggurat corners, and an overall sense of unadorned craftsmanship. The plain brick walls merged into fluid borders of terra cotta created in collaboration with Byrne's friend and longtime artistic collaborator, Alfonso Iannelli. Windows were given the soft, crimped edges of a hand-formed pie crust, and the church met the heavens with a row of upwardly extending finials that interlocked with the sky.
But Byrne was unable to fulfill his vision. As the church neared completion in 1923, a dispute with the pastor resulted in his and Iannelli's removal from the project. Many elements of their design were reworked by the succeeding architect, who had little understanding of or sympathy with the original concept. Among the casualties was Byrne and Iannelli's delicate entrance, which was replaced by a heavy-handed oversize triangle of ornamental terra cotta. The interior was also modified, with more traditional fixtures and decorations and more conservative designs for the leaded glass windows. But even with these compromises, St. Thomas the Apostle is a powerful work of architecture worth visiting.
5551 S. University (1937)
Shaking Up the Neighbors: In the mid-1930s, as the Depression relaxed its grip, a most unusual building began to rise among the older houses of South University Avenue. The flat front, large windows, and first-floor garage doors had perplexed neighbors suspecting that a factory was surreptitiously being erected in their midst. The appearance of what looked like venetian blinds would not have been considered unusual except that they were mounted outside the windows.
It turned out to be, well, not really an apartment building but more like three houses stacked on top of one another, a cooperative venture built to give three families separate homes. Two of the owners were the building's architects: George Fred Keck and his younger brother William, who'd made their reputation as innovative modernists with two highly publicized model homes for Chicago's 1933-'34 Century of Progress. The third unit became the home of Louis Gottschalk, a University of Chicago history professor, and his family.
In planning the building, the brothers took into account the other houses on the block by choosing a similar reddish brick. But there the resemblance stopped. The virtually flat front, facing the street, was dominated by generous windows covered by metal louvers that could be adjusted from the inside, causing the façade to change its appearance—the same sort of effect created nearly 40 years earlier with the shutters of the Herrick House two blocks away.
Especially disconcerting to the neighbors, there was no front door. Instead, three garage doors extended across the first floor, allowing each tenant to drive into the building from the street. For anyone approaching on foot, there was a common entrance to the living quarters on the building's side.
For years after it was finished the building remained the talk of University Avenue. William Keck's daughter Margaret once told me that as a girl living there she became alarmed on hearing a disgruntled neighbor comment that somebody should "throw a bomb" at it. But you won't hear much of that now: the building is not only a neighborhood landmark but an official Chicago one.
The Ralph and Rachel Helstein House
5806 S. Blackstone (1950)
A Lot With a Little: We're likely to imagine mid-20th-century labor activists living in weathered old houses and apartments, meeting late into the night in smoke-filled living rooms or around rickety kitchen tables. Ralph Helstein is a legendary figure of Chicago's labor movement in that period, but the Hyde Park home that he and his wife, Rachel, built in 1950 would never be chosen to play a labor leader's home on TV.
For their architect, the Helstein's chose Bertrand Goldberg, the future designer of Marina City. He gave the couple a frame of unadorned raw concrete whose ultrathin floor slabs projected out beyond walls dominated by glass. The rooms of the house flowed together and the staircases seemed to float upward from the first floor, which remained an open space aside from the glass-enclosed and deeply recessed entrance vestibule.
For all its striking and modernist presence, the Helstein House was neither expensive nor extravagant. It was a demonstration of what common sense, ingenuity, and technology had to offer. Alterations have diminished some of its power, but it remains a striking presence in its neighborhood.
August and Isabel Gatzert House
4901 S. Greenwood (1912)
Modernism From the Old Country: Many of Hyde Park and Kenwood's early-20th-century residents were well traveled and therefore familiar with European architectural trends. As a result area streets reflect a diversity of architectural movements far beyond the domestic influences typical of other Chicago neighborhoods.
Consider the Kenwood home built by August and Isabel Gatzert in 1912. August Gatzert was a German-born clothing manufacturer who traveled the world with his wife and studied city planning and infrastructure as a volunteer adviser to the Chicago Association of Commerce. Having seen the modernist designs of Germany firsthand, the Gatzert's engaged the Chicago architectural firm of Ottenheimer, Stern & Reichert to design them a home in the same vein. Traditional in form but elegantly minimalist in its details, the Gatzert House blends in comfortably with its neighborhood.
Largely forgotten in Chicago's architectural history, Ottenheimer, Stern & Reichert designed many other interesting German and Austrian-inspired buildings here. Yet founding partner Henry Ottenheimer is probably best remembered for stabbing Frank Lloyd Wright in the back with a drafting knife during an office tussle while both were working under Louis Sullivan. "Today," Wright recalled decades later in his autobiography, "I bear the welts of Ottie's fancy work on my shoulder blades."
The Frank and Frances Lillie House
5801 S. Kenwood (1901)
Sperm and Egg Man: Anyone who studied with Frank Rattray Lillie at the University of Chicago in the early 1900s knew exactly where babies came from. This prominent professor significantly advanced the field of embryology, and in recognition of his achievements his old home on Kenwood Avenue became a National Historic Landmark in 1976. But the house is equally important as a work of architecture. Frank and Frances Lillie chose the firm of Pond & Pond to create a house that at first glance seems to be absolutely simple, perhaps even severe. But on closer examination it turns out to be an exceptionally complex building whose subtle features reflect a high degree of craftsmanship and attention to detail.
At the turn of the last century, when the Lillie House was designed, the brothers Irving K. and Allen B. Pond were counted among Chicago's most creative architects for the straightforward "builded beauty" of their designs. Builded beauty was their phrase, coined to express their belief that a building should forthrightly express the manner of its construction. The Lillie House is one of the finest examples of this philosophy, still forward-looking today though it was builded more than a century ago.
Editor's note: When Irving Pond died in 1939, he left behind a handwritten memoir that was finally published last year. Chicago architect David Swan, who edited Pond's manuscript, lectured on it and on Pond & Pond's architecture March 7; afterward the author of this article helped Swan lead a walking tour of Pond & Pond buildings.
Hyde Park Herald, October 6, 2010. By Daschell M. Phillips
the DuSable Museum of African American History's new "Making History Come Alive through the Arts" (MHCA) initiative endeavors to bring its exhibits and education programs into schools and neighborhoods.
DuSable has commissioned two vehicles that will showcases its art collections and assist in the telling of the life of its namesake Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, who founded the city of Chicago. " We are taking it to the street," said Carol Adams, president an CEO of DuSable Museum.
The "Scout" is a repurposed van that displays images of Du Sable and other iconic African symbols. The van, which has video and sound amplifiers and an extended canopy, will transport storytellers and interpreters to neighborhood functions. In addition to showing up at planned events, the van may do what the musuem is calling a "DuSable drive-by" meaning that a team of troubadours might pull up anywhere and make an impromptu presentation about teh life of DuSable to a group of young people.
The "StoryBus," which is a recreation vehicle (RV) that was gutted and transformed into a mobile museum, will hold mini exhibits, interactive activities and storytelling for kids led by the museum's artists and educators. "There are people who have never been to the museum or can't afford to get here," Adams said. "So we want to bring the experience to them."
Adams said the mobiles should be ready by the end of October and will service communities in Chicago before branching out to suburban an rural areas.
The musuem will also send 100 visual and performing artists out to schools to lead history through the arts programs. In the eight-week program, student will paint, dance, sing and write about notable African Americans; participate in in-school workshops with their teachers and parents; and attend matinee performance in the musuem's theater.
Information dusablemuseum.org or 773 946-0600.
By Georgia Geis, Hyde Park Herald
Real estate developer Danny Acunas struck architectural gold when the 1898 Queen Anne home at 4914 S. Greenwood Ave. he purchased came with all the original, detailed blueprints. Acunas' 14-month restoration of the 6,000-square-foot home designed by Waterman and Perkins will be honored at the City of Chicago Landmarks Commission's annual Preservation awards on Sept. 6.
"I was able to restore the entire house according to the original blueprints," said Kenwood resident Acunas.
Acunas, who has won the preservation award in the past, said he started rehabbing to take advantage of the tax freeze available for working on landmarks, but soon it became a passion. He opened the company Vintage Homes five years ago. "There are such horror stories of what people have done to these homes," said Acunas. "It is such a pleasure to bring them back to their original prominence."
Acunas is one of 25 recipients of the award, which, according to Chicago Landmarks Commissioner Ernest Wong is a way to highlight exceptional restoration. "It's a celebration of projects that have been outstanding in renovation and rehabilitation of landmark buildings," Wong said. "We hope this encourages that kind of care and integrity in the future."
According to Acunas, Robert Vierling, a pioneer in the iron and steel industry, built this limestone home as a showcase of how steel could be used in houses. The steel frame is supported by poured concrete, one of the few examples of his technology, which is normally associated with skyscraper construction, being used for single-family residential construction. "This house was built like a high rise," said Acunas. One of the most unique features of this home is the eight faces carved into the front columns. Acunas said the faces are called "green men" who ward off different evil spirits.
Another Queen Anne-styled home in the Kenwood area, at 4580 S. Oakenwald Ave., will also be honored.
Landmarks Commission landmarked the Hyde Park Bank at 1525 E. 53rd St.
Hyde Park Herald, February 17, 2010. By Daschell M. Phillips
The homes of three African American writers received protected landmark status last Wednesday by the City Council, along with two properties preserved for their historical adn architectural value. The Richard Wright House, 4831 S. Vincennes Ave.; Gwendolyn Brooks House, 7428 S. Evans Ave.; and the Lorraine [and Carl] Hansberry House, 6140 S. Rhodes ave., are building[s] associated with Chicago's "Black Renaissance" literary movement.
"The homes represent a time in [the] history of African Americans in Chicago expressing their culture and being involved in social activism between the 1930s and '50s," said Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), who is a member of the Landmarks Committee.
The George Cleveland Hall Branch Library was a hub for Bronzeville's intellectual and literary crowd, said historian and Lakefront Outlook columnist Tim Black. "The Hall Library was where people met to listen to authors and poets speak," Black said. "That is where Lorraine [Hansberry] got her start."
The Griffiths-Burroughs Home was the first home of teh DuSable Museum of African American History and was designed by architect Solon S. Beman and built in 1892 by John W. Griffiths, whose company constructed many of Chicago's iconic structures including Union Station, the Merchandise Mart and the Civic Opera House Building. Dr. Margaret Burroughs, artist and founder of the DuSable Museum, still resides in the house.
"The Burroughs home continues to make Michigan Avenue a prominent drive," Dowell said. The Wright and Burroughs homes as well as the Hall Branch are in Dowell's ward
Black said the landmarks are important contributions to the people of Chicago because the writers and artists were major contributors to the intellectual and cultural wealth of Chicago and the United States.
Wright was famous for teh novel "Native Son," Brooks won teh Pulitzer Prize adn served as Illinois' poet laureate and Hansberry is best known for "A Raisin in the Sun," teh play based on her family's residential struggles that eventually led to a legal ruling that lifted restrictive neighborhood covenants for African Americans everywhere in the community.
"The landmark protection is great, but the real victory here is the recognition of Chicago's Black literary movement," said Paula Robinson, president of the Black Metropolis District National Heritage Area of Illinois.
The fact that literary giants such as Gwendolyn Brooks and Lorraine Hansberry wrote about living in Bronzeville and the restrictive covenants means that people can now come to the city and have a visual experience that will help interpret the uniqueness of Bronzeville as a historic area, Robinson said.
For the past five years teh Black Metropolis District National Heritage Area of Illinois has been working to make the area between 18th and 71st streets and Dan Ryan Expressway to teh lakefront a National Historic Area and works to preserve landmarks. It is also planning a yearlong celebration of events during the centennial year of Bronzeville in 2016.
How much of the Harper Theater facade and Herald building will be saved in a new development looks hopeful; structural study says it's sound and adaptable
Harper Theater Structural Engineering survey and report says buildings sound, adaptable
SPAF (already a Committee of the Conference) joined in request to Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference and Hyde Park Historical Society asking they send letters to the University of Chicago requesting access to structural studies done on the condition of the Harper Theater/Herald buildings and undertake and contribute a small amount in addition to the funding by SPAF of a new structural study based on those for the former selected developer. (All done June 2009). Stearn-Joglekar Ltd., the firm that did an earlier assessment for the former UC-appointed developer was commissioned and The University of Chicago, owner of the buildings, was notified. The structural study was done in summer-fall 2009 and the document and conclusions shared with the University as of December 2009. (The firm was not given access to the structure for this study and told SPAF that this was not essential.) The University asked for time to absorb, indicating that under consideration is commissioning historic tuck pointers for masonry repairs (reputable firms were forwarded and the University is said to have accepted or at least taken bids), after which the scaffolding, of serious concern in the community, would likely be removed. And meanwhile, the University continues to pursue tenants for both buildings and holds open historic adaptation.
While the committee meeting with University representatives- Jay Ammerman, HPKCC President; Ruth Knack, Hyde Park Historical Society President; George Rumsey, immediate past president of HPKCC; a member of a leading historic restoration and adaptive reuse firm Gunny-Harboe PC, and principals of Stearn-Joglekar Ltd.- offered the option of a joint announcement with the University, the resolution was that key persons from the SPAF and affiliated team met with the Hyde Park Herald and the University lead spokesman Steve [Kloehn] commented on the record to the Herald, not about the study but about intent of the University, confirming that it is indeed undertaking facade repairs (which need only to be minor), looking to removing the scaffolding, and making every effort to find tenants and keep the buildings.
A major finding of Stearn-Joglekar is that additional floors could be supported in the theater structure, reducing need for its demolition. So far, the University appears committed to restoration and reuse.
The University gives every indication it intends to reuse the buildings and lease. Facade work continued in December 2010.
Hyde Park Herald, February 17, 2010. Harper Theater OK: HP-K CC study finds the historic site sound
The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, or HP-K CC, made public last week a document that rates the Harper Theater and its adjoining commercial and retail space "in sound structural condition."
"Routine maintenance is required for the exterior walls including tuck pointing of masonry walls and inspections and on-going repair of terra cotta decorative elements," according to Stearn-Joglekar Ltd. heads Howard C. Stearn and Milind R. Joglekar. Stearn, a licensed architect, and Joglekar, who has a doctorate in civil engineering, concluded, based upon their study of the buildings, that "the existing structure can be effectively renovated and... the existing structure is capable of supporting additional interior floors..." This last finding refers to the Harper Theater in particular, which some thought might have to be gutted to be adapted for use by a new entity other than a theater operator. Instead, stearn and Joglekar demonstrate in their report a technique whereby additional interior floors might be constructed.
While releasing this report to the Herald last week, HP-K CC representatives said they had also shared the report with representatives from the University of Chicago, or U. of C., the buildings' owner. While U. of C. spokesman Steve [Kloehn] declined to comment on the study, HP-K CC President Jay Ammerman describe the conversations as "encouraging." None of the HP-K CC representatives would divulge the names of the U. of C. officials they spoke to on the record. [divulge for the record the names of...]
[Kloehn] confirmed the study's conclusion that the only safety considerations on the exterior of the building were superficial and said the U. of C. was was looking for a company to repair the facade so as to remove scaffolding that has been wrapped around the property for months -- a source of alarm for many Hyde Parkers. Former HP-K CC President George Rumsey said he originally commissioned the report because the scaffolding had sent rumors of "imminent demolition" rippling through the community.
[Kloehn] said, in addition to the repairs, the university wanted to bring new tenants to the property. "We're doing everything we can to find tenants for that building," he said.
Murals and the dome were wonderfully restored at Blackstone Library. See Blackstone page index of our subpages below, the project in Friends of Blackstone.
and faculty of the U of C have been inventorying, creating website for researchers,
on archives of South Side and African American history and on arts, poetry,
jazz in various archives. The archives include U of C Libraries and
Special Collections, DuSable Museum, The Chicago Defender, and Vivian
G. Harsh Collection of Afro-American History at the Woodson Regional Library.
The grants are from Mellon Foundation and others and expands a Mapping the Stacks
project into Uncovering New Chic gao Archives Project (UNCAP). The project will
for the first time make what's available on what accessible and usable. Work
at most of the sites is wrapping up, next are the Jazz Archives and poetry manuscripts.
The effort is highly collaborative.
About Hyde Park's National Registry designation
Hyde Park received its designation in 1979, with the footprint extended in 1984 and 1986.
Details: http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/il/cook/districts.html. This lists the historically significant features of the initial designation and the two expansions.
Wikipedia: modified excerpt, with links to lots more:
Hyde Park – Kenwood Historic District is the name of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) district on the South Side of Chicago that includes parts of the Hyde Park and Kenwood community areas of Chicago. The northern part of this district overlaps with the officially designated Chicago Landmark Kenwood District. (that contains the Chicago home of Barack Obama.) The entire district was added to the NRHP on February 14, 1979 and expanded on August 16, 1984 and May 16, 1986. The district is bounded to the north, south, east and west, approximately respectively by 47th Street, 59th Street, Lake Park Avenue and Cottage Groves Avenue. Despite the large amount of property associated with the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park-Kenwood Historic District is mostly residential. The district is considered to be significant for its architecture and education.
Among the Hyde Park-Kenwood Historic District's contributing properties are numerous NRHP listings in Hyde Park: Frank R. Lillie House, Isidore H. Heller House, Amos Jerome Snell Hall and Charles Hitchcock Hall, Arthur H. Compton House, Chicago Pile-1, St. Thomas Church and Convent, Frederick C. Robie House, George Herbert Jones Laboratory and Robert A. Millikan House. No NRHP listings from Kenwood are within the historic districts boundaries. The NRHP-listed University Apartments are also within the district. Additionally, [Manhattan Project] Chicago Pile-1 and Robie House, which are in the district, are two of the four Chicago Registered Historic Places from the original October 15, 1966 NRHP list. Several Chicago landmarks have been designated since- see below.
Area City of Chicago designated landmarks as of January 1, 2005 Recent entries include 20 firehouses (one at 46th and Cottage Grove), Rockefeller Chapel, Greenwood Row House District and the Statute of the Republic at Hayes and Richards and the 63rd Street Bathing Pavilion in Jackson Park and South Shore Cultural Center have been designated nearby since.)
In HPK proper (47-61st, Cottage Grove-Lake Michigan, including Jackson Park)
NEW: The Shoreland, 54-- S. South Shore Drive. February 2013, Antheus Capital. This allows tax credits that underwrite in part the renovations.
Near-Mid South Side (19th-Ryan-63rd). North:
They're Wright here in Hyde Park, with much, much more. Robie House, (5757 S. Woodlawn), although considered by many architects one of the 10 most significant buildings of the 20th century, is not the only Hyde Park Wright home. There are Heller House (5132 S. Woodlawn), Blossom House, "bootleg" homes--(and some maybes and wannabes too). Contact the Wright Plus association for background, activities, and schedule of tours of the Robie House, open during an eight-million dollar restoration. Robie House is in 6th year of its 10 year restoration, nearing completion of the phase that included the roof, repointing, and reinstallation of the courtyard wall. $4 million is needed. The Docent training occurs periodically. Contact Angela at Volunteer@WrightPlus.org or 708 848-1976. Robie House will be featured, among 12 other significant historic places needing financial help, in an public service ad campaign by Home and Garden Television. Visit our The Robie House Story. Views of Robie and Heller houses (exterior, with Heller House story).
Robie House tour schedule: 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm weekdays; 11 am through 3:30 pm weekends. $9 adults, $7 seniors and 7-18 years old. 834-1847.
There are many other Hyde Park and Kenwood structures on the National Register of Historic Places and Chicago's Survey Orange List, including Lorado Taft's Midway Studios (Chicago Landmark, Otis Floyd Johnson) and International House, and works by such noted architects as Mies Van der Rohe (Promontory Apartments 5530-32 S. Shore Dr., Social Service Admin. bldg. 60th and Ellis), Aero Saarinen (U of C Law School), Solon S. Beman, Henry Ives Cobb, I.M. Pei, Howard Van Doren Shaw (such as the famed Quadrangle Club at U of C, 1155 E. 57th, being restored) ..., as well as recent notable architects. Many of the structures and sites are on the University of Chicago campus (navigate their website at http://uchicago.edu). A key architectural asset of Hyde Park-Kenwood is that almost every period and style from pre-Civil War on is represented, most with interesting or unique variants.
Especially important is St. Thomas Apostle Church, 5472 S. Kimbark. The first "modern" Catholic church in the country, it was designed by Wright disciple Barry Byrne and decorated by Iannelli and Alfeo Faggi (pieta and stations of the cross renowned for their simplicity).
One of the most pleasing structures, Beman's Blackstone Branch Public Library, is at the neighborhood's the northeast edge, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave. More still-standing treasures stretch far north, south, and west, especially along Chicago's boulevards. Grand hotels (and Hyde Park was rich in resort and residential hotels) include the Windermere at 1642 E. 56th, Shoreland in the 5400 block of South Shore, and the Hampton House ( f. Sisson) at 5300 South Shore, all rich in terra cotta. In fact, Hyde Park is especially rich in wondrous terra cotta. Don't miss the wonderful mansions of Kenwood. Of significance to evolution into and through the Prairie School are Potter House (Frost), 4800 Ellis and Magerstadt House (Maher) in the 5000 block of Greenwood. Benjamin Marshall designed in Kenwood also, including 4900 and 4906 Ellis. The magnificently restored Julius Rosenwald house, at 49th and Ellis? is reputed to be the largest south of Prairie Avenue.
Much, not only interesting historically and architecturally but examples of vernacular variety and detail, was lost during Urban Renewal and continues to be lost to institutional expansion, residential tear-downs and buildouts, and-- in surrounding neighborhoods--fast-track anti-gang demolition, continued disinvestment, or inconsiderate new development. Much of the former look and variety in Hyde Park and Kenwood is brought out in Max Grinnell's Hyde Park Illinois. and Leslie Hudson's Postcard History, as well as Jean Block's monumental Hyde Park Houses. But you'll be amazed at what a stroll will reveal still--each block and row of blocks seems to have its character, sometimes highly eclectic in style, type, and scale, sometimes deriving character from showpiece variety, mixture, and surprises--mini-histories of the neighborhood, and sometimes carrying its meaning through unity and variety within repetition or row effect. The cottages (such as those around Blackstone 54th Pl.), small mansions (such as Greenwood at 51st, Greenwood/University at 54th), row houses (such as the sets of professor houses on 56th and Woodlawn), and one-story commercial structures are just as revealing as the imperial buildings ranging from Hyde Park Bank to the Powhatan (city landmark DeGolyan and Morgan 1927-29) and its neighbor Narraganset (achieving National Registry). One can certainly "cultivate locality" and immerse oneself in "visible memory" here. The kids should be shown these places--and invited in, for the interiors are at least as revealing as the envelopes, streetscape interfaces, and presentations. And some of the newer large structures and smaller houses are just as intriguing.
A classic exploration of the built/social environment of our community is Jean Block's Hyde Park Houses. Also, Hyde Park Historical Society can help you get a handle on our rich built environment as well as its memorials and traces on paper, tape, and in brick and mortar, starting in the days when Hyde Park was an early suburban village with one of first commuter rail stations, then a famous tourist resort, host to a world's fair, a university town, home to the mansions of several captains of industry as well as workers and middle class, and center to world class historic parks— all in Hyde Park-Kenwood's first 60 years! A record of the buildings scheduled for urban renewal is Marian Despres, ed., "Segments of the Past."
Watch for its reissue with much more and brought up to date, coming out in the next year or two.
NEW! Culture of
Chicago and the People, Politics and Ideas of Hyde Park by
Isabel Wilkerson "The Warmth of Other Suns- The Great Migration.
Howard Reich, "Let Freedom Swing.
"Chicago's 1893 World's Fair" (Arcadia 2012). DiCola and Stone.
"Campaign! The 1983 Election that Rocked Chicago." Peter Nolan.
Much of the former look and variety in Hyde Park and Kenwood is brought out in Max Grinnell's Hyde Park Illinois. and Leslie Hudson's Postcard History, as well as Jean Block's monumental Hyde Park Houses.
Walk Hyde Park and Kenwood with Ira Bach and Pacyga's Chicago, City of Neighborhoods. Do it digitally.
For the University, start with their web site, Charles Goodspeed's The University of Chicago--the first 25 years and its next-25-years follow up and Jean Block's The Uses of Gothic. The University and the Chicago Architectural Foundation give tours.
Doing research? ...about Hyde Park, urban renewal, HPKCC, other organizational history? Much of it (especially pre-1980, for example of the Hyde Park Historical Society and HPKCC and material on urban renewal) is archived in the University of Chicago's Regenstein Library Special Collections. (This includes a mass of pictures including of urban renewal, unfortunately a good many having never had or lost their identification.). Also in Special Collections is the vast Chicago Jazz Archive and allied music archives. A run of the Hyde Park Herald (as complete as exists) is housed at Chicago Historical Society.
U of C
Regenstein Library Maps Collection has recently digitalized a group of Chicago
maps printed between 1900 and 1914 and are available at www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/maps/chi1900.
University of Chicago Library and Special Collections, including UNCAP link to all area archives and new discovery tool-- uncap.lib.uchicago.edu (link back from there to UC Lib and Spec Coll.) The collaborative received a $500,000 grant in late 2010 to continue the uncovering the archives project.
About UNCAP from the December 22, 2010 Herald, by Daschell M. Phillips
The University of Chicago held an event last Friday celebrating the completion of its Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project (UNCAP), an initiative aimed at improving access to archival collections at cultual institutions throughout Chicago. UNCAP is a website that allows researchers to search the contents of all collections across institutions including the university's partner institutions such as the Vivian C. Harsh Collections [at Chicago Public Library Carter G. Woodson Regional Library], duSable Museum of African American History and the South Side Community Arts Center.
The project grew out of a Mapping the Stacks (MTS) program lead by former U. of C. professor Jaqueline Goldsby, who is now an associate professor of English at New York University. For the MTS project, Goldsby worked with a group of graduate students who had expertise in African American studies and identified and processed archives related to African Americn history in Chicago between 1930 and 1970. After receiving a grant to expand the project, Goldsby and the U. of C. library created UNCAP to create a virtual version of the library's hidden collections.
Researchers now have access to previously hidden collections such as the archives of the Chicago Defender, Sun Ra, Paul Carroll, the work of political cartoonist Chester Commodore, the funding documents of the South Side Community Arts Center and the archives of the Chicago Review [as well as what was in dozens of previously unsorted boxes at the Harsh Collections]. Alice Schreyer, director of the Special Collections Research Center, said that with the support of those who participated in the UNCAP project, U. of C. Library has expanded and improved access to its Chicago Jazz Archive and the library's contemporary poetry collection. ... she hoped that the message was made clear that the database is a benefit for anyone interested in research. "We try to make sure Hyde Park and the broader community understand that the archival collections are open to the public," Schreyer said. "Not enough people know they can come in and use it." uncap.lib.uchicago.edu.
For an excellent article on urban renewal, by HPKCC member and former leader Oswalda Badal, ask the Hyde Park Historical Society if you can view a copy of its Summer/Fall 1995 Newsletter. See in HPKCC Urban Renewal page.
Visit the Columbian Exposition page.
If you are looking for material on line about the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the best is probably the following, but note that it is read-only (copyrighted), may take a couple tries to come up, and loads very slowly, especially the map (which is well worth it). http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/ecuip//diglib/social/worldsfair_1893/index.html. There is also some basic and topical information in the Jackson Park History page in the Jackson Park section of this hydepark.org website. Burnham Park history is summarized in the city's Lake Shore Drive history page.
The University of Chicago's Digital Internet Library Project (CUIP) is an increasingly important source and has archived material including Hyde Park Houses and pictures and other material on the World's Fair.
Chicago Jazz via the UC Special Collections website: Home and Libraries and
Archives tabs of the Chicago Jazz LibGuide at http://guides.lib.uchicago.edu/chicagojazz.
now several new research tabs live on the Libguide: Understanding Jazz
and Chicago Jazz History, Chicago, Jazz, and the Great Migration, and
Researching Chicago Musicians with its subpage, Starting
Points for Student Papers. Just a reminder: The links on the LibGuide
are a mix of free and subscription sources; the latter require a University
of Chicago login and password. If you live in Chicago and you’re doing
Chicago jazz research, you should get a Chicago Public Library card!
That card is gold for researchers because it provides public access
to many of the same specialized research sources to which universities subscribe;
if you have the card, you can even access some of the sources from your computer
at home. The CPL’s page of online sources is at http://www.chipublib.org/cplbooksmovies/research/online_research.php.
This applies to many other
research topics as well. (Thanks for this section to Deborah Lynn Gillaspie
of the UC Jazz Archive.)
Hyde Park Politics 1861-1919.
Andrew Yox. Hyde Park Historical
"to Annex or Not? A Tale of Two Towns: Evanston and Hyde Park." Economic Explorations, January 1983, pp 58-72.
"All the World Is Here," The Black Presence at the White City (and) Black Chicago's First Century. Christopher Reed
Frank Lloyd Wright and Midway Gardens. Paul Kroty. Urbana. 1998.
Challenging the Daley Machine. Leon Despres. Evanston. 2005.
Hyde Park Houses, and Uses of Gothic. Jean Block.
Slim's Table: Race, Respectability, and Masculinity. Mitchell________. (Valois Cafeteria)
Talking to Strangers. Danielle Allen
Politics of Opportunity: Obama's Chicago: the People, Politics, an Ideas of Hyde Park. Rebecca Janowitz. Chicago. 2010.
Nancy Albert's A Cubed and His Algebra has much about Hyde Park history.
Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advance the Cause of Black Education. Peter Ascoli. Bloomington. 2006. See also M.R. Werners's Julius Rosenwald. New York. 1939 and the 2009 catalogue of the Spertus exhibit on Rosenwald.
Charles F. Merriam and the study of Politics. barry Karl. Chicago. 1974 (called the only scholarly study of a major Hyde Park politician). See also Merriam's "Chicago a More Intimate View." Chicago. 1929.
In the Fullness of Time (autobiography). Paul H. Douglas. New York. 1972.
Harold Washington: A Political Biography. Florence Hamlish Levinsohn. Chicago. 1983.
Building the South Side, by Robin Bachin
When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor. William Wilson.
Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity. _________ Stewart
Making of the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960. I. Arnold Hirsch (1998 ed.)(includes a rare study of patterns of racial violence related to integration)
When Public Housing Was Paradise. James Fuerst.
Bridges of Memory, I, II, III coming. Timuel Black
The Promised Land. (From the sharecropping South to Chicago's black belt and projects)
Earl B. Dickerson, A Voice for Freedom and Equality. Robert Blakely and Marcus Shepherd. Evanston. 2006.
Truman K. Gibson, A Fighter...
Black Metropolis. St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton. Chicago. 1945.
The Fabric of the Metropolis. Ed. James F. Short. Chicago. 1972.
E. Franklin Frazier on Race Relations. Ed. G. Franklin Edwards. Chicago. 1968.
Bitter Fruit: Black Politics an the Chicago Machine, 1931-1991. William Grimshaw. Chicago. 1992.
Wayne E. Miller, published collection of postwar South Side photographs
Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril Among the Black Middle Class by Mary Patillo-McCoy. And she has another, new one.
Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. Eric ___________. (about 1995 heat wave)
Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago. Jones and Lloyd Newman (Ida Wells Homes)
Garbage Wars: Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago. David N. Pellow
Henry Ives Cobb's Chicago. Edward W. Wolner (2011) (Cobb designed most of the early U of C campus)
I Feel So Good- Big Bill Broonzy. Bob Reisman
Christopher Reed's "All the World is Here," The Black Presence at the White City. (See also his Black Chicago's First Century.) See Columbian Exposition for books and resources on the Fair.
New- "The Warmth of
Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Gary Rivlin "Fire on the Prairie: Harold Washington, Chicago Politics, and the Roots of the Obama Presidency
Encyclopedia of Chicago
History- it's online at http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org.
Women Building Chicago 1790-1990. Visit http://www.cawhc.org.
A Kaleidoscope of Culture: Measuring the Diversity of Chicago's Neighborhoods. Lauren Fischer and Joseph P. Schwiterman. Depaul- Chaddick Inst. 2008
The Jews of Chicago: From Shtetl to Suburb. Irving Cutler. Urbana. 1996.
A City and Its Universities: Public Policy in Chicago, 1892-1919. (much on UC, academics in policy, HP politics). Steven Diner. Chapel Hill. 1980.
Chicago, 1910-1929: Building, Planning, and Urban Technology. (much about UC). Carl Condit. Chicago. 1973.
Constructing Chicago. Daniel Bluestone
Challenging the Daley Machine. Leon Despres. Evanston. 2005. See also David Lorens "The Lone 'Negro Spokesman in Chicago's City Council" in Negro Digest 1966.
American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley. (much about relations with Hyde Park, Robert Merriam, Leon Despres). adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor. New York. 2000.
The University of Chicago Cultural Policy Center of the Harris School of Public Policy, with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Architecture Foundation and the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, hosted an all-day Arts and Humanities in Public Life symposium: Building the Past: Landmarks Policy and Urban Development, April 19.
The panelists discussed why we preserve, whether there is a "right of memory", preservation policy and tools, the politics of preservation, and preservation and development. The rationales for preservation have grown much broader and sophisticated and must be convincing. There was a call for prioritization, and on a broader basis than this or that structure. Successes and failures, and what caused each, were analyzed. Work of the city departments was praised, but there was reluctance to put too much control in downtown city government. The alternatives, aldermanic decision and submission to popular decision, were considered problematic. Dividing the city into sections with review boards with expert staff available seems to work in New York and Washington, but these have unusually strong and empowered preservation communities. Encouraging stories ran from solutions reached through behind the scenes negotiations in which creative alternatives or modifications, incentives, easements, and sometimes threatened regulatory sanctions (the LPCI approach) to successful community organization and charrette (the Preservation Chicago approach) --both have worked in parts of Bronzeville. Both groups are working on old Cook County Hospital and showed a complete plan for adaptive reuse.
Among the problems with "process" we face, panelists and audience members said, are:
Blair Kamin and other Chicago Tribune writers have written an in-depth series on historic preservation, surveys of historic structures, and landmarking process and practice in Chicago. Much, including the politics and economic favoritism, is highly disturbing, but not surprising to those up on the issues. Distressing especially is evidence a pattern of understudying and under-taging the South Side in general and especially the African-American community's historic and built environment resources in particular. Also, the Chicago survey dividing line between "orange" resources, proposed to be fast-tracked to protection, and "yellow/green" (less important?) resources is a fine and often arbitrary cutoff. GMO
and Preservation Stories around the Area ("in Depth")
At the Hyde Park Historical Society See also for information on preservation movement background re: the Preservation Award at the HPHS 2005 Annual Dinner.
Chicago Metro History Fair
Development/Pres. Committee of HPKCC and what's in play in devel. that could affect preservation.
Landmark Criteria, Procedures, Incentives
Landmark District Frequently Asked Questions (printable) The Commission's standards and guidance- see also previous (Criteria)
Landmark District(s) for Hyde Park? activity underway
Preservation Beat (watch lists here, and "state of the preservation game" articles) Read about award for an extraordinary restoration in Kenwood.
Preservation Hot Topics
Religious spaces and Preservation/Landmarking
SPAF- Southside Preservation Action Fund
Sprinkler/Life-Safety Evaluation and potential impact on preservation/viability
Tax incentives for/effects on preservation
Sub pages on places of historic or preservation interest
(architect: S. Beman)
Chicago Theological Seminary Plans for the repurposed CTS/B-F Institute and more.
Columbian Exposition, World's, of 1893
Deco Arts building and terra cotta in Hyde Park
Doctors (Illinois Central) Hospital
Fountain of Time Basin Committee (L. Taft, H. VD. Shaw)
Geologic and some architectural geology history of Hyde Park
(Greenwood Row Houses- see Preservation Beat and Preservation Hot)
Harper Court Story
Harper Theater/Herald Bldg. future (H. Wilson), Harper Theater RFP 2006
Kenwood 40th St. Rail Embankment- diverse ideas on saving/converting /redev'g old infrastructure
Lake Park Corridor and Metra viaducts/murals
Landmarks Designation process and criteria (includes Q and A and Economic Incentives)
Museum of Science and Industry
Olympics and Washington Park
Promontory Point landmarking status and endangered listing (A. Caldwell)
The Quadrangle Club Story (H. vd. Shaw)
The Piccadilly Remembered
The Robie House Story (F.L. Wright), views of Robie and of Heller (with story) houses
St. Gelasius Church
Shaw (Howard Van Doren) in Hyde Park and Kenwood
South Campus. See also University and Community
Woodlawn Avenue Historic Corridor and controversy, landmarking effort. See also woodlawnaveinjeopardy.org
HPKCC endorses a landmark District for Woodlawn Ave.
Urban Renewal and Hyde Park redevelopment stories, views, timeline home (HP historic timeline 1940s-2000s)
Early HPKCC history/ Urban Renewal and Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference
1968 radio transcript- Urban Universities- their Responsibility to Communities
Wright, Frank Lloyd in Hyde Park and Kenwood- see Robie House.
Elsewhere on this site and a couple outside:
Profiles of Hyde Park and Kenwood
Doctors Hospital (and archived history and hotel proposal)
Midway Plaisance Virtual Tour by HPKCC Board member Trish Morse
About Allison Davis, Sr's contribution and the garden named for him: Davis Garden, Washington Park page.
Hyde Park Bank restoration/renovation: Development page
The Powhatan and other classic apartment buildings as described by Prof. Neil Harris: www.hpherald.com Nov. 3 issue, and past HPHS Hyde Park History issue in www.hydeparkhistory.org.
Reviews of Tim Black's Bridges of Memory and its context
To Carol Herzenberg's site on the Women in the Manhattan Project
also the Parks pages, especially including sub pages in Burnham
and Burnham Timeline,Harold
Promontory Point Park;
Promontory Point revetment
controversy index page; Promontory
Park page; Washington,
63rd St. Bathing Pavilion
Jackson Park Lagoon story
Korean Exhibit at Columbian Expo
Murals, Metra Viaducts and Lake Park Ave.
Old Oak of Wooded Island
Osaka Japanese Garden
South Shore Cultural Center (several sub pages on landmark designation, history, historic views)
U-505 Sub Move
Statue of the Republic
Wooded Island and links there.
Wooded Island tour 2003
the Hyde Park Historical Society and its work and programs
Hyde Park Historical Society website is an invaluable resource with much we could never cover here including 1893 World's Fair.
HPHS History Fair (look also for HPHSNeighborhoodHistoryContests.pdf or e-mail administrator for it: email@example.com. )
our History Fair page.
'Your House Has a History' online.
HPHS Hyde Park Herald monthly series.
Hyde Park History articles. Many of the articles in the society's quarterly publication, as well as from its Herald series are on line, some pdf, others direct.
To Calendars and Directories. New: Woodlawn Ave. District
Encyclopedia of Chicago
Links to the Hyde Park Historical Society online finding aid- July 2010:
Michael Safar, HPHS Archivist, writes: I am very happy to announce that our year long project with Special Collections Research Center is complete. The publicly available material in the collection has increased from the original 30 boxes, collected and organized by our original Archivist, Jean Block, to 179 boxes. The added material was largely collected by Emeritus Archivist Steve Treffman and is now organized into a detailed 92 page finding tool, which is available on-line and 100% searchable. In addition, the collection of 119 boxes of materials from the Hyde Park Cooperative Society has been organized with a separate finding tool, also available on line. Finally, the Hyde Park Kenwood Razed Buildings collection finding tool has been revised to include street names and numbers. Maija Anderson, the archivist at SCRC in charge of the project has done an outstanding job. She and the entire Archives staff at SCRC should be recognized for their contributions to the HPHS Archives.
Those interested in exploring the archives will find a wealth of fascinating material related to Hyde Park. Follow the links below to access the finding tools.
Hyde Park Cooperative Society
Hyde Park Kenwood Razed Buildings
Special Collections Research Center, which houses the Hyde Park Historical Society Archives, is open to the public. Information about accessing the collections is available at: