Reports from the South Side

Get a QuoteView from my WindowKOCO

SSA #61 Unveils New Website

In an effort to strengthen the identity of the Hyde Park shopping district (from 53rd Street to Lake Park, then along 55th Street to Hyde Park Blvd.), the commissioners of the Special Service Area #61 Hyde Park recently unveiled a new website to promote the neighborhood: Downtown Hyde Park Chicago ( This is a work in progress, and will evolve over time as we figure out how people plan to use it. It hopes to feature all the businesses (both sales and service) in the district, and ultimately expand to include all of Hyde Park. There is an events page, which changes frequently to highlight special promotions and videos of happenings in the neighborhood. The community calendar is extensive, and will grow, as will the business directory.

University of Chicago FAIR Policing

At the suggestion of Alderman Hairston, a group of local residents have formed a Citizens Action Committee for Fair University of Chicago Policing. There are repeated stories in the neighborhood about racial and gender profiling, lack of accountability, and inadequate independent review. To address these issues, the Committee for Fair UC Policing has started a website ( and a google group to share information while working on an action plan.

As one way to express concern, the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference is funding a videography project in conjunction with the Hyde Park Herald. The aim is to have students at Kenwood and other local stores record their experiences with the UCPD. Results will be posted on the Herald's website, and additional interviews will include how parents can support their kids, how to file a complaint, and how our civic leaders are responding to these concerns.

SSA Votes to Fund Snow Removal

In addition to funding holiday decorations for the hanging baskets lining our business district streets, the SSA at its October meeting approved a program to have snow removed from curbs and at street crossing and under the viaducts. The snow will not just be shoveled, but will be hauled away to make sure our sidewalks are passable; the program will cover the SSA footprint from 53rd (Woodlawn to Hyde Park Blvd., Lake Park (from 53rd to 55th), and 55th (Lake Park to Hyde Park Blvd.).

Strengthening Our Community

Shop Local This Holiday Season

As part of the Thanksgiving Holiday, the SSA will participate in the annual "Shop Local" program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and SECC. Join Valerie Jarret as she visits neighborhood shops to get a jump on her Christmas shopping! See the SECC website for details.

Used Book Sale

Thanks again to everyone who donated books for the annual Hyde Park used Book Sale. We estimate we received almost 60,000 books this fall, and sold about 75%, for a record-breaking sale. To answer the many who have asked what happens to leftover books, I'm pleased to report that for the past eight years, we've worked with "Discover Books," whose mission statement says "We strive to divert books from landfills, help fund library sustainability and through our partners, provide meaningful solutions to the global problem of illiteracy." Hope to see you and your books again next year!

Hyde Park-Kenwood Residents

George talks U of C and "preservation."
Maroon Gray City Looks at HP Development:
The University, its real estate, and Hyde Park retail

      Frank Lloyd Wright in Kenwood

    The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference sponsored an informational forum on the Frank Lloyd Wright homes in South Kenwood in December, 2013. See for more information.

    Affordable Rental Housing in HP-K

The Coalition for Equitable Community Development unveils a detailed study of rental housing in Hyde Park and South Kenwood.
Read the executive summary Read the full report

55th Street Accessibility

On Saturday, June 16, 2012, the Hyde Park Disabibilities Task Force sponsored a "Walk and Roll" down 55th Street, identifying issues of accessibility and safety. Read the full disabilities report