Hyde Park Historical Society

Hyde Park Map
Find Parking

The Hyde Park Historical Society puts on three or four rotating exhibits each year, in an almost whimsically small building that was originally a railroad depot, then a lunch counter. During our visit there was an exhibit of posters from the 57th Street Art Fair over the years (the fair was founded in 1948, so the posters covered many styles in the evolution of commercial art). The museum has also displayed a collection of souvenirs of the 1893 World's Fair (it was held on the Midway), a series of photographs of Hyde Park doorways, and an exhibit on the history of Filipino-Americans in the neighborhood. "We don't have a real strict schedule," said volunteer Anita Anderson. "We put up four or five displays a year. It really is whatever the community comes forward with." Many of the museum's visitors, Anderson said, are high school students who want to look through the oral history files of the local history bookshelf. The museum is so small, some of the exhibits have been crowded into the bathroom: the privy holds a picture of a cable car and a heat grate from an Illinois Central train.