Woodlawn - Chicago neighborhood   

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Woodlawn, located in the South Side of the City of Chicago, Illinois, USA, is one of 77 well
defined Chicago community areas. It is bounded by Lake Michigan to the east, 60th Street
(beyond which is Hyde Park) to the north, Martin Luther King Drive to the west, and, mostly,
67th Street to the south. Both Hyde Park Career Academy and the all-boys Catholic Mount
Carmel High School reside in this neighborhood, and much of its eastern portion is occupied
by Jackson Park.

Woodlawn Demographics

Population (2000)
- Total        27,086
- Density        13,088.1/sq mi (5,053.4/km2)
population down 1.41% from 1990

Present Day Woodlawn

The area between 59th and 60th Streets is known as the Midway Plaisance,
incorporating Midway Plaisance North (south of 59th Street) and Midway
Plaisance South, north of 60th Street. Now dominated by a green space of
low valleys, the Plaisance is widely known as the site of the 1893
Chicago World's Fair, in which the green space was to be designated as
the Fair location (but was never utilized). The Plaisance is now a
well-maintained walking and bike riding thoroughfare amidst the
University's campuses. Between 60th and 61st Streets (with Dorchester
Street to the east and Cottage Grove Avenue to the west) are several of
the University's South Campus buildings including: University of Chicago
Press, the law quadrangle and law library, the School of Social Service
Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, the National
Opinion Research Center, the Center for Research Libraries, and Chapin
Hall. Some of the University's faculty and several hundred of its
graduate and undergraduate students live south of 60th Street in
University-owned real estate and dormitories, as well as in privately
owned residences.

Woodlawn has made great strides into stabilizing as a neighborhood and
community. There are many new hopeful developments and infill projects
as greater education and more stable income slowly drips back into the
area. The University of Chicago formerly had a "stance" on the
neighboring communities to help inform students of stable and safe
areas. Namely, students were encouraged to avoid any area south of 60th
Street. Before officially abandoning such "stances," the University's
stance on Woodlawn changed to allow that it was a generally stable and
safe area, which seems to match a general trend of the improvement of
the South Side of Chicago. Yet, at the same time, some at the University
argue that the best policy towards Woodlawn should be one of showing no
economic quarter to those who oppose the Universities' expansion.
Subsequently, there exists a level of tension between some of the
residents of Woodlawn against the University, despite a long standing
promise by the University not to expand south of 61st.

To replace the decaying Shoreland Hotel, the University of Chicago began
construction in the summer of 2006 on a new fourteen-story residence
hall on the corner of 61st St. and Ellis. The new residence was designed
with input from residents of both Hyde Park and Woodlawn and was
explicitly designed so as to minimize possible alienation of the
Woodlawn community (which could occur via blank walls, etc.). Some see
this as an attempt by the University to encroach upon Woodlawn[citation
needed], but it remains to be seen how this new development will affect
Woodlawn residents. University police patrols extend two blocks farther
south than the new dormitory, to 64th Street.

Jackson Park

Jackson Park is a 500 acre park on Lake Michigan in the neighborhoods of
Woodlawn, Hyde Park, and boadering South Shore.

The land for Jackson Park was set aside in the 1870s. The area was
originally a "rough, tangled stretch of bog and dune" until it was
transformed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect of New York City's
Central Park. The park is connected by the Midway Plaisance to
Washington Park on Woodlawn's North end.

Jackson Park's moment in the sun was the 1893 World's Columbian
Exposition. For this event, hundreds of acres of undeveloped park was
turned into the spectacular, but temporary, Beaux-Arts "White City."

Some sites worth visiting are the pleasant Osaka Garden, the Jackson
Park Golf Course, the gilded Daniel Chester French statue Republic (a
replica of a much larger statue built for the Columbian Exposition),
several lagoons, one of which features the Wooded Isle, and the 63rd
Street Beach with its magnificent beach house.

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