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The University and the City
A Centennial View of the
University of Chicago
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Map of the Village of Hyde Park, Illinois, 1888

"Map of the Village of Hyde Park, Illinois," 1888. Stephen A. Douglas advised Hyde Park's founder. Paul Cornell, "Whenever you have a spare dollar, plant it between [Chicago] and the Calumet. There the future city will lie." At its greatest extent, the municipality of Hyde Park stretched from State Street to Lake Michigan and from 39th Street to the Indiana border.

The University Neighborhood

Hyde Park-Kenwood
The increasing attractiveness of Hyde Park-Kenwood led many of Chicago's wealthiest businessmen, including University trustees Martin A. Ryerson, Harold Swift, and Julius Rosenwald, to build impressive homes in the area. They were joined by prosperous middle-class families and by the great majority of University faculty, who were attracted by comfortable homes in an appealing neighborhood within walking distance of the campus. Their houses were frequently designed by firms with distinguished national and regional reputations: Frank Lloyd Wright, George W. Maher, Holabird & Roche, Wilson & Fox, Marshall & Fox, Alfred Alschuler, and Solon Beman among them.

A Creative Center
Some of the architects who designed the University's Gothic buildings secured commissions for other work in Hyde Park. Henry Ives Cobb, the University's first architect and the creator of its campus plan, built three houses in Hyde Park in the 1890s, one for President William Rainey Harper. Dwight H. Perkins, whose "Prairie Gothic" design for Hitchcock Hall incorporated ornamentation based on Midwestern fauna, produced three Hyde Park residences. Howard Van Doren Shaw, the fashionable architect of many North Shore estates and the University's Quadrangle Club, executed more than fifteen commissions in the neighborhood, many of them sophisticated adaptations of traditional English manor houses.

Horace B. Mann, one of the principals of Mann, MacNeille & Lindberg and a brother of a University physics professor, led his firm to design four separate complexes of linked rowhouses that came to be called "professors' houses." Bordering shady Hyde Park streets and incorporating all the amenities of comfortable upper-middle-class life, these rowhouses epitomized the successful integration of a large university into a prosperous residential neighborhood.


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