Chicago's Historic Hyde Park: Weaving America's Urban FabricSusan A. O'Connor
AuthorUniversity of Chicago Press, 2013
GRANTEESusan A. O'Connor
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
The election of Hyde Park resident Barack Obama demonstrated a movement beyond the racially biased notions of what is possible in the United States. The Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood has made a similar journey and provides a rich context for a thought-provoking examination of architectural styles and the area's social and political history. There were many dark chapters in the process, from racially restrictive housing covenants to wholesale clearing of undesirable areas, however the neighborhood is a remarkable example of what can be achieved both in society and in architecture. Beginning with a look back at the very foundations of these two communities, this work follows Hyde Park-Kenwood on its journey into the twenty-first century. Through rarely seen archival photographs, we glimpse a rich architectural legacy that embodies both the thoughtfulness of generations committed to producing work of lasting value and the carelessness and insensitivity that emerged during the area's darker days.
Susan A. O'Connor has had a life-long interest in the field of design, with an emphasis on mid-century furniture and contract interiors. After graduation from the University of Illinois, she held various design positions prior to an appointment as a regional manager of sales and marketing for Knoll International. The position provided extensive management experience in strategic planning, and in the implementation of sales and marketing operations. She and her family moved to Hyde Park, where they constructed a modernist home and became strongly involved in the local community. She founded a not-for-profit public charity, established to be a project-driven organization dedicated to the betterment of the neighborhood. As an avid supporter of arts organizations, her affiliations include various board memberships and fundraising/development chairs.
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