Make your way south of the Loop and be surprised by what you find. Full of parks and featuring miles of shoreline, the Far South Side is an informal district of the expansive South Side of Chicago that encompasses the neighborhoods and community areas south of 51st street all the way to Indiana.
The Metra Rail South Shore line and Electric lines are the primary public transit for the area. CTA Red Line service terminates at 95th St near Chicago State University. Highways I-90 and I-94 run south and east though the area making driving the most reliable way to get around.
There’s something for every rental budget in Far South Chicago, with one-bedroom apartment options lower than $800 in South Shore. Rentals in a Hyde Park high-rise often hover around $2,000 for a two-bedroom apartment. Further from the city, there are more houses and multi-family homes as well as large, affordable-living complexes.
Much of today’s South Side and Far South Chicago once belonged to the Hyde Park Township until Chicago annexed it in 1889. Three major colleges, St Xavier University, Chicago State University, and University of Chicago date to the mid 19th century and brought many of the early residents and infrastructure necessary for the area as it developed. The great migration during the world wars brought most of the current demographic to the area during a time when racially restrictive covenants limited where people could live. This would act as a pressure-cooker for African-American culture, and Chicago’s Blues scene flourished here.
In the vicinity of the University of Chicago campus, there’s a wide selection of parks, museums, and resources, including Washington Park, the world-renowned University of Chicago Medical center, and the Museum of Science and Industry.
The area has been known for its many rail yards and industrial districts, many of which have been repurposed. Media often emphasizes the negative aspects of the area with little attention being given to charms like the Harborside International Golf Center and Lake Calumet.
Precise demographic data for this region is difficult to aggregate, as boundary lines aren’t clear, but the area has historically been home to a large Jewish population and the city’s oldest synagogue. Descendants of Irish settlers still live here as well. A large majority of the population is Black with many community areas having a 90% or more proportion.
Chicago’s only State Park, the William W. Powers State Recreation Area is located here, with its 400-acre Wolf Lake. It is a vital biological site for the Chicago region.
Catch Fourth of July fireworks out on Promontory Point, with its beautiful views of the city skyline and Navy Pier. The Chicago Velo Campus is an impressive banked bicycle-racing track. Calumet Fisheries is a James Beard award winning fish market.