Exploring Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood
By Bob Glaze
Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, home to the University of Chicago, is a great place to explore with wonderful campus additions, outstanding architecture and museums, and great new restaurants opening. It is a perfect place to visit as the weather is getting warmer this spring.
My main recommendations include:
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts – University of Chicago: This is the University’s performing arts center on the south side of campus at 915 E. 60th St. You can’t miss this beautiful contemporary skyscraper. Throughout the year there are art exhibitions, concerts and dance, music and theater performances, conferences and film screenings. There’s also Café Logan on the first floor for coffee and espresso drinks, wraps, sandwiches, salads and small plates as well as craft beer and wine.
Rockefeller Chapel: Among the beautiful buildings on the U of C campus is this magnificent chapel where, since 1928, you can attend year-round programs of choral music, organ recitals, choral music on Sunday morning and special holiday performances such as Handel’s Messiah. 5850 S. Woodlawn.
Joe and Rita Mansueto Library: This is a stunning new library with a glass domed ceiling. The library piles are underground with an automated retrieval system. Be sure to stop and ask for a visitor pass!
oriental institute: At 1155 E. 58th St., this important museum is world famous for the history, art and archeology of the ancient Near East. It has a magnificent permanent collection with galleries devoted to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia and the ancient site of Megiddo. There are also special exhibitions.
The Renaissance Society: Founded in 1915, it is an independent, non-collecting contemporary art museum. He supports new artists and commissions many new works. Located at 5811 S. Ellis on the U of C campus, it’s well worth a visit.
Smart Art Museum: This small museum has an important collection of Asian art, European art, modern art and design and contemporary art. 5550 S.Greenwood.
Opposite the Smart Museum is the Court Theater at 5535 S.Ellis. It’s been one of Chicago’s premier theater companies for over 60 years.
Frank Lloyd Wright – Robie House: At 5757 S. Woodlawn, this is a house designed and built between 1908 and 1910 and is an excellent example of its Prairie School style. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on November 27, 1963, was on the very first National Register of Historic Places listing on October 15, 1966, and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2019. It has been recently renovated and is open again. for guided tours.
Before or after your tour, stop for a coffee, pastry or lunch next door at Outdoor Café & Restauranta French-inspired cafe, popular with U of C students, at 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
The Promontory: Opened by the Longman & Eagle team, this is a bar and music venue at 5311 S. Lake Park.
Museum of Science and Industry: This large, popular science museum is located near Lake Michigan in a building that was the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1893 World’s Fair. Because it was built to house art, it was built as a permanent structure, unlike the other fair buildings which were constructed from temporary stone call staff which were not intended to last. It is therefore the only structure that remains of the fair. I still remember my first visit in 1963 when I was in Chicago with my parents. I have always loved seeing the captured WWII German submarine U-505, Coal Mine and Yesterday’s Main Street (a replica of a street from 1900) where I was photographed with my parents on my first travel.
If you have time, be sure to take a walk through the park to the south, the World’s Fair site, and visit the Japanese garden on the forested island of Jackson Park with a waterfall and walkways. It is also called the Phoenix Garden or the Osaka Garden. This garden was a gift from Japan during the 1893 World’s Fair. “The original pavilion had only a small garden, however, in the 1930s the newly formed Chicago Park District restored the pavilion and added a larger Japanese garden. The garden was revitalized several times during the 1900s, including a 1992 project that celebrated Chicago’s Sister City relationship with Osaka, Japan. Cherry blossoms are meant to be simply stunning in the spring. I was there in early November and the fall colors were gorgeous. I was so happy that I went back for a visit. 6300 S. Cornell Ave.
Located next to the Jardin du Phoenix is a public artwork titled Skylanding one designed by activist and artist Yoko Ono. Composed of 12 metal pedals, the sculpture is a symbol of peace.
You can park at or near the museum, but I recommend parking in the parking lot at the south end of the forested island at the corner of S. Cornell Ave. and E. Haynes Dr. This way you can walk across the island on the garden path. It was an important part of the 1983 World’s Fair site.
To the south of the island is The Statue of the Republic, a 24-foot-tall gilt-bronze sculpture in Jackson Park by Daniel Chester French. The original 1893 statue was destroyed by fire. The original 65 foot tall statue. This smaller version was consecrated in 1918.
I recently tried The fishing restaurant at 4652 S. King Drive, just northwest of Hyde Park. It offers cookies, pancakes, waffles, omelettes and Southern specialties. This is a great place for breakfast or brunch.
North of Peach’s in Bronzeville, is a great new find The place of the pearl at 3901 S. Michigan Ave. This is a classic restaurant with white tablecloths serving southern/soul classics like fried chicken and catfish. I went with my assistant who was from Memphis, TN. She loved the fried catfish! I really enjoyed the shrimp and grits with the collard greens. In addition to their menu, they also offer buffets offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. I highly recommend the experience.
Two other spots that should be on your list include Valois for comfort food and Virtue Restaurant & Bar for southern cooking.
Valois is located at 1518 E 53rd St. This is a counter/cafeteria style restaurant offering comfort food, BBQ, breakfast items and desserts. It was apparently President Barack Obama’s favorite haunt when he lived in Hyde Park. They even have a menu on the wall listing her favorite dishes. I loved the relaxed atmosphere! Came in for dessert after my st brunch and thought the coconut pie and rice pudding were great.
Virtue Restaurant & Bar is located in the former A10 food court at 1462 E. 53rd. I went for brunch with friends and thought the experience was awesome. I loved the food and the service. We all had the fried green tomatoes and the prawns that came with a remoulade sauce and an egg. The biscuits and cheese curds were also excellent. I will definitely go back and thought brunch was the perfect time to go. Esquire magazine named it one of America’s Best New Restaurants 2019 and it’s a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand restaurant. Chef Erick Williams is a 2022 James Beard nominee for Best Midwest Chef.
Sip and savor is a fun local cafe that has three other locations around town. We stopped for lattes before exploring downtown and having brunch. 5301 S Hyde Park Blvd.
Ja’Grill, formerly in Lincoln Park on Armitage, moved to 1510 E. Harper Ct. They have great Jamaican food. Also, on my list to try is brown sugar bakery southwest at 328 E.75and St. Southern style bakery specializing in traditional sweets and custom cakes.
Don’t miss the new Stony Island Arts Bank. Located at 6760 S. Stony Island Arts Bank. Chicago artist Theaster Gates led the restoration of this former bank building into a South Side cultural landmark. It is a hybrid gallery, media archive, library, community center and Black Cinema House. One highlight is Johnson Publishing’s collection of books and periodicals in Chicago.
Solstice on the park by award-winning architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang is a contemporary 26-story apartment building completed in 2018. It features bright apartments filled with natural light and expansive views of Hyde Park, the lake and the Chicago skyline, using its angled glass design. 1616 E. 56th St.
Also in Hyde Park, two other Studio Gang projects are Hyde Park City Toura mixed-use project, at 5105 S. Harper and the University of Chicago North Residential Campus at 5500 S. University Ave.
Another highlight of my last visit was Point of the promontory. It is an artificial peninsula that juts out into Lake Michigan. Located in Burnham Park, The Point was built from a landfill in the 1930s. It’s an amazing place to visit for incredible views of the city skyline and the lake. It is on the east side of Hyde Park at 5491 S. Shore Drive. There is parking for easy access at the corner of E. 55th and S. Shore Dr. The focal point is the stone country house built in 1937.
West of the University of Chicago campus at 740 E. 56th Place is the DuSable Museum of African American History, a subsidiary of the Smithsonian. He is known for his use of multimedia to tell the story of the black experience in America. It covers the entire span, from the slave trade to the civil rights movement to the country’s first black president, Barack Obama, who still has a home in Kenwood, on the northern outskirts of Hyde Park. His presidential library should be built in Jackson Park.
For more travel destinations and recommendations, visit globalphile.fr.