Hyde Park Historical Society

Hyde Park Historical Society The Society's objective is to record, preserve, promote and teach Hyde Park, Chicago history. Welcome to The Hyde Park Historical Society
This little building was constructed in 1893 or 1894 by the Chicago City Street Railway.
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It is believed to be the only building surviving in Chicago that was part of the cable car system. At one time the railway was one of the most extensive cable car systems in the country. The line had moving underground cables, like the San Francisco system, and connected Hyde Park with the downtown area at Roosevelt Road. It, together with the Illinois Central Railroad, the Jackson Park Elevated line and lake steamers, was one of the major modes of transportation between downtown Chicago and the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park. The Hyde Park cable car line ran along 55th Street. The cars turned south at what is now Harper Avenue to a half block past 56th street, then east to Lake Park Avenue and then north to 55th Street. The cars then turned west on 55th Street to Cottage Grove Avenue. The main powerhouse was located on the north east corner of Cottage Grove Avenue and 55th Street. The Hyde Park turnaround, which ran on a separate cable was called Cable Court. The loop was in existence for several years before the building was built. While the exact date of the station’s construction is not known, strong evidence indicates it was erected in 1893 or 1894. It is known that the right-of-way was elevated from ground level in 1893, to eliminate grade crossings and facilitate traffic flow for the fair. Construction of the building, which is rubble stone and not brick in the sections that abut the bank of the Illinois Central tracks, indicates it was built at the time of the embankment’s construction or after it, but not before. The building was in place by 1895 because it appears on a map of the area carrying that date. It is not entirely clear whether the building was originally used as a waiting room for passengers or as a rest area for employees. Whatever its intended use, within a few years the cable car system was abandoned. For a time the building served as a terminal and rest stop for the trolley system which replaced the cable cars. However, even that use was short lived and the surface rail lines and trolleys had been completely abandoned by 1906. Beginning about 1898, through 1952, the building was operated as a short order restaurant by members of the Keller family, particularly Turney Keller. Later, it was the home of “Steve’s Lunch.” operated by a Steve Megales, a Greek Immigrant. According to Clyde Watkins, a founder of the Hyde Park Historical Society, the breakfast special featured two eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast and coffee and cost $.42. By 1974 the lunch room had closed and the building was being used as a storage shed for the two-wheeled carts used for delivering newspapers. The building was clearly headed for ruin. At this point, the history of the building and the formation of The Hyde Park Historical Society converge. The idea of a historical society was initially explored by Clyde Watkins and Tom Jensen who called a public forum in the spring of 1975. Dev Bowley, Jean Block and Vicky Ranney were also among the first organizers. The society was officially chartered in January 28, 1977. At first, the Society did not have a home, but Clyde Watkins already had his eye on the building he had been fond of for many years. The Society soon purchased the building for approximately $4,000 and leased the land from the Illinois Central Railroad. Dev Bowley became the chairman of the restoration committee and brought in John Vinci to be the architect for the restoration.

Operating as usual

SAVE THE DATE - Thursday, May 27th at 7:00 PM!!!
05/08/2021

SAVE THE DATE - Thursday, May 27th at 7:00 PM!!!

SAVE THE DATE - Thursday, May 27th at 7:00 PM!!!

Hyde Park Book ClubMonday, February 15, 2021 7:30pmIn 1968 Bette Howland, a divorced, single mother of 2 boys and a stru...
12/14/2020
Hyde Park Book Club: Monday, February 15, 2021

Hyde Park Book Club
Monday, February 15, 2021 7:30pm

In 1968 Bette Howland, a divorced, single mother of 2 boys and a struggling author took an overdose of sleeping pills and was admitted to the University of Chicago psychiatric ward (W-3).

W-3 is a memoir of her experience, originally published in 1974 and newly republished in 2021. Bette went on to become a MacArthur Fellow in 1984 and was a close friend and mentee of Saul Bellow. Her story and published works were largely forgotten until editor Brigid Hughes discovered W-3 in 2015.

Bette’s sons, Frank and Jacob Howland will be present to discuss the book. Brigid Hughes, representing the publisher A Public Space, will join the conversation.

http://www.hydeparkhistory.org/2020/12/14/hyde-park-book-club-monday-february-15-2021/

Hyde Park Book Club Monday, February 15, 2021 7:30pm Via Zoom Bette Howland (1937-2017): W-3 In 1968 Bette Howland, a divorced, single mother of 2 boys and a struggling author took an overdose of…

Designed to Dazzle & Delight: Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Parkhttp://www.hydeparkhistory.org/...
11/17/2020
Designed to Dazzle & Delight: Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park with historian Julia Bachrach

Designed to Dazzle & Delight: Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park
http://www.hydeparkhistory.org/2020/11/17/designed-to-dazzle-delight-chicagos-1893-worlds-columbian-exposition-in-jackson-park-with-historian-julia-bachrach/

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH • 4:30PM-5:45PM Renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was unimpressed when he first laid eyes on what would become Chicago’s South Park. But despite his initial…

Hyde Park Book Club Monday, October 19, 20207:30pmDiscussions with:Carlo Rotella,author of:The World is Always Coming to...
09/14/2020
Hyde Park Book Club: Monday, October 19, 2020

Hyde Park Book Club
Monday, October 19, 2020
7:30pm

Discussions with:
Carlo Rotella,
author of:
The World is Always Coming to an End
Pulling together and apart in a Chicago neighborhood

http://www.hydeparkhistory.org/2020/07/05/hyde-park-book-club-monday-october-19-2020/

Hyde Park Book Club Monday, October 19, 2020 7:30pm Discussions with: Carlo Rotella, author of: The World is Always Coming to an End Pulling together and apart in a Chicago neighborhood All are we…

Discussions with: Carlo Rotella, author of: The World is Always Coming to an End Pulling together and apart in a Chicago...
07/13/2020
*RESCHEDULED VIA ZOOM Hyde Park Book Club: Monday, March 16, 2020

Discussions with: Carlo Rotella, author of: The World is Always Coming to an End Pulling together and apart in a Chicago neighborhood

*RESCHEDULED VIA ZOOM Hyde Park Book Club Monday, July 20, 2020 7:30pm Discussions with: Carlo Rotella, author of: The World is Always Coming to an End Pulling together and apart in a Chicago neig…

Discussions with: Mark Larson, author of: Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater
07/13/2020
Hyde Park Book Club: Monday, September 21, 2020 via Zoom

Discussions with: Mark Larson, author of: Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater

Hyde Park Book Club Monday, September 21, 2020 7:30pm VIA ZOOM Discussions with: Mark Larson, author of: Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater All are welcome! Hyde Park Historical Society …

Discussions with: Keith Stolte, author of: Chicago Artist ColoniesWith Zac Bleicher, Executive Director, Edgar Miller Le...
07/13/2020
Hyde Park Book Club: Monday, August 17, 2020 via Zoom

Discussions with: Keith Stolte, author of: Chicago Artist Colonies
With Zac Bleicher, Executive Director, Edgar Miller Legacy

Hyde Park Book Club Monday, August 17, 2020 7:30pm VIA ZOOM Discussions with: Keith Stolte, author of: Chicago Artist Colonies With Zac Bleicher, Executive Director, Edgar Miller Legacy All are we…

There’s Art in Them Thar Revetments! with William Swislow
06/18/2020
There’s Art in Them Thar Revetments! with William Swislow

There’s Art in Them Thar Revetments! with William Swislow

There’s Art in Them Thar Revetments! Via Zoom Saturday, June 27, 2020 2:00 – 4:00 pm One of the world’s most remarkable outdoor art treasures lies hidden in plain sight along Chicago’s L…

The Hyde Park Historical Society wants to hear from you about how you, your family, and our community are being affected...
03/31/2020

The Hyde Park Historical Society wants to hear from you about how you, your family, and our community are being affected by COVID-19. Please tell us your story so we can add your voice to the history of our community.

Share here: https://forms.gle/bsht7MShgEr558GT8

If you would like to share photographs or a video, or both, please email them to [email protected].

If you would like to submit a diary or journal of your experience, please email it to [email protected] or mail it to the HPHS Headquarters.

Any physical ephemera can be mailed to the Hyde Park Historical Society's Headquarters at 5529 S Lake Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. Anything received will not returned to the sender and will become property of the Historical Society.

*EVENT CANCELLEDHyde Park Book Club: Monday, March 16, 2020
03/12/2020
*EVENT CANCELLED Hyde Park Book Club: Monday, March 16, 2020

*EVENT CANCELLED
Hyde Park Book Club: Monday, March 16, 2020

*EVENT CANCELLED Hyde Park Book Club: Monday, March 16, 2020 Discussions with: Carlo Rotella, author of: The World is Always Coming to an End Pulling together and apart in a Chicago neighborhood Hy…

The Hyde Park Book Club is excited for @Lee Bey to discuss his new book "Southern Exposures" on Monday 2/17 at the histo...
02/13/2020

The Hyde Park Book Club is excited for @Lee Bey to discuss his new book "Southern Exposures" on Monday 2/17 at the historical society!

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5529 S Lake Park Ave
Chicago, IL
60637

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Comments

I’m trying to learn where this 1913 photo was taken. My grandmother and her family lived on Hyde Park Blvd (51st St) near Cottage Grove Ave, but the photo could be from anywhere. I noticed that the window had some signage, so I attached a couple of zoomed in photos. I can’t make it out, but maybe it might be enough to trigger a memory. Any thoughts?
I am trying to locate a property - can you help? My Great Grandfather bought a house near US Steel South Works in 1892. The legal description on the Deed is: "Lot numbers thirty two (32) in Block number Forty (40) in the subdivision by the Calumet and Chicago Canal + Dock Company of parts of sections five (5) and six (6), Town thirty seven (37) South, Range fifteen (15), east of the third (3rd) principal meridian, situate in the city of Chicago, Cook Co, Illinois."
It’s time for New Orleans Brass Band in the Parks! Will you come hang out with us? Four Star Brass Band Chicago Park Districtt Harold Washington Memorial Park Seneca Park & Eli M. Schulman Playground Portage Park #NightOutInTheParks | #InTheParks | #MyChiParks | #TeensInTheParks | #2019isYOCT
Any body have any information or photos of the Diana apartments on cornel between 55th and 56th
Come see "Burnham's Dream: The White City" musical next month! Tickets available between June 7th and July 1st. Get your tickets before they're gone...
Please read the Sangamon County Historical Society press release for the new book. The article appears on pages 1 and 4. Click the link to open.https://www.sangamonhistory.org/…/Doc…/2018_05_HISTORICO.pdf HPHS Member and former HPHS Board Member Andrew Taylor Call's book to be published this month. He's speaking at the Sangamon County Historical Society meeting in Springfield on Tuesday, May 15th!!!!
I have tried to vote for the last 20 minutes and keep having a problem.
On Saturday, September 9th, at 9:30am the Chicago Cycling Club will be taking a bike tour of historic Woodlawn featuring the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest! Tour is free; pace is easy; helmets are highly encouraged; ride departs from Rockefeller Chapel—please arrive before 9:30am; other details and online registration (under RSVP tab — non-members can register as guest) at https://chicagocyclingclub.org/Home/ViewEvent/3088 Join the ride!! With Save the Shrine