This is the first installment of a multi-part series about living in Hyde Park.
Hyde Park truly is an oasis in the middle of Chicago. The area is incredibly safe (it’s actually safer than the Loop where most students live), close to campus, and is experiencing a rennaissance in new restaurants, shops and stores. While some students may overlook the area because it’s not where the social hub of student-life resides, for those of us with families or who enjoy being able to be more judicious about our social engagements. It’s the perfect place to live.
Having lived in Hyde Park myself for more than a year, I can honestly say I’ve loved it. I have easy access to the city (I live a block away from an express bus or train that take me directly downtown, or can easily drive there in less than 20 minutes), and have found it very manageable to conduct most of my study groups on campus in Hyde Park such that I don’t have to go downtown more than a few times a month for school-related functions. Also, since my classmates are regularly down in Hyde Park for classes, I feel like I am still involved socially and regularly see friends around campus. And, as mentioned above, if there are any great social events downtown, it’s a very manageable trip to get there.
With that in mind, I wanted to detail some of the more common places for students to live in Hyde Park, as well as some of the pros and cons of each:
Pros – Very affordable, plenty of parking spots, access to tot-lot and playground, less than 1 mile from campus, all/most utilities are included, very close to transportation to downtown, on free bus route that takes you straight to campus, some units are updated, flexible leases.
Cons – Older buildings, no air conditioner – you have to get your own.
Pros – Large building with great amenities (pool, grocery store, gym, snack bar, etc.), very close to transportation to downtown, on free bus route that takes you straight to campus, nice views, very close to lake/trail/parks, flexible leasing options.
Cons – One of the more expensive options for Hyde Park (but still much cheaper than what you’d pay in other neighborhoods), on-street parking can be difficult if you don’t pay for a covered parking spot, some units allow indoor smoking.
Pros – Can get good deals on housing, some apartments are updated nicely, potentially a little closer to campus than the other options.
Cons – Generally do not have reserved parking (and on-street parking can be a pain), landlords and apartments can be hit-or-miss.
Overall there are a lot of great options in the area and rental prices are extremely reasonable. What other questions do you have about living in Hyde Park? Drop me a comment and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!