South Kenwood -- stretching from 47th Street to 51st Street and Lake Park to Cottage Grove -- contains some of the most impressive houses ever built in Chicago.
Today, and for many years, a Historic Landmark District, the houses in Kenwood range in size from 4,000 to 13,000 square feet. Almost everyone associated with Chicago's history and growth -- the giants in commerce, industry and philanthropy who were creating a thriving Chicago metropolis -- had a house in Kenwood in the late 1890s and early 1900s. For some these houses were vacation homes; for most they were permanent residences. A group of amazing architects designed Prairie houses as well as experimenting with all of the classic styles. By a miracle of both fate and the good judgment of the people who have lived in the neighborhood over the decades, almost all of these architectural treasures have survived.
Hyde Park and South Kenwood (referred to for decades as Hyde Park-Kenwood, as though the neighborhoods were actually one community) were Chicago's first suburbs. Today, the amazing Kenwood neighborhood which surrounds the University of Chicago consists of block after block of fascinating examples of 19th Century architecture. The mansions and expansive grounds of those wealthy Chicago early business leaders have become the homes of professionals, professors and businessmen and women. The people who live in Kenwood today are confirmed city dwellers who feel that they enjoy the best of two worlds. Kenwood, 2010, is as green, lush and uncongested as the most elegant suburb. It is also a diverse, intellectually stimulating community only 12 minutes by car or train from the heart of Chicago.