community letters

With significant changes facing 53rd Street in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, the entire community of residents, business owners, elected officials, developers, and corporations have a vested interest in the outcomes. Would you like to share your opinion? Here are some of the letters we've received.

Vue53: UChicago Student Sense of Culture

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Letter To:

Alderman Burns -- 4th Ward

Derek Douglas -- Vice President, Office of Civic Engagement

Dear Mr. Douglas and Mr. Burns,

A group calling themselves 53rd CARRD recently dropped a flyer in my mailbox asking me to "make my voice heard" regarding the recent construction plans on 53rd street, most specifically at the McDonald's/Mobil site. Their cynicism was so overwhelming, I decided to go ahead and follow their instructions: I want you to know that I wholeheartedly support the current plans to develop apartments and retail on 53rd street.


As a current UChicago student who was also born and raised in Hyde Park, I've come to believe that development in the neighborhood is essential to its growth and survival. All of the students, young people, and neighborhood workers that I know disparage Hyde Park for the difficulty they face in finding affordable housing, decent food, and a sense of culture. Hyde Park has the potential to be a thriving cross-cultural meeting ground -- a potential it will never live up to as long as people can't afford to live here and don't want to spend time here.

Please, don't let a few nay-sayers stop what looks to be the most beneficial change this neighborhood has seen in years. Stopping the 53rd street development would condemn Hyde Park to a future as a quaint, expensive suburb -- an insult to its vibrant community history.


Gene Cochrane

S. Kenwood Ave.

UChicago class of 2016