Turn right at Dorchester and return to Hyde Park Boulevard. Make
a left and go three blocks east to Lake Park Avenue (400 East).
Kenwood Academy stands at the northeast corner of Blackstone
and Hyde Park Boulevard. This magnet public high school draws students
from all over the South Side. Merchants threatened by the decision
to build the school at this location opposed its construction in
Across the street from Kenwood Academy, on Harper and Lake park,
is the Village Shopping Center, which leads to Harper
Court on 53rd and Harper Avenue. These developments are intended
to provide space for Hyde Park merchants and artisans displaced
by the massive urban renewal projects of the 1950s and 1960s.
Many of the artists who were forced to move because of the demolition
of the old artists' colony on 57th and Stony Island expected to
relocate in Harper Court. Unfortunately, the Harper Court rents
proved too high for many of the artists, and they left Hyde Park
for Old Town and other North Side locations. Among the buildings
demolished to make way for the Village Center was Theodore Starrett's
Hyde Park Hotel, which stood on 51st Street between Harper and
Lake Park from 1888 until 1963.
The above photograph shows Ciral's House of Tiki at 1612 E. 53rd Street
in 1985. The House of Tiki was one of the few cocktail lounge/restaurants
to survive the trauma of the urban renewal years in Hyde Park.