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Subdivision Names by Bill Worley PDF  | Print |

August 1981 Hyde Parker, reprinted with the permission of the author.

The Hyde Park neighborhood contains a wealth of colorful names in the 35 different subdivisions that make up the area. Several bear the names of the people who owned the land when it was subdivided. There is Chellis and Dudley's First Addition in north Hyde Park, for example. Edward Chellis and Edward G. Dudley had high hopes for their first venture into the real estate game in 1885. One searches in vain, however, for their second addition.

Other subdivisions named after the land owners include Chadwick's (subdivision plan filed in 1882), Geirge's Addition (1888), Hingston Grove (1887), Hunter Place (1887), Irwin and Morrill Addition (1886), Laforces' Subdivision (1888), McIntyre Place (1891), and the ever popular Woods, Waller, and Holtz's First Addition (1905) and Tate Park (1904) in south Hyde Park. The above subdivisions planned in the 1880s and 1891 are all in north Hyde Park, the first developed area in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Often subdividers tried to lend an air of class in their developments through their choice of names. The two best known upper income suburbs of Chicago in the 1880s were Hyde Park and Kenwood. The first name was used in Kansas City by the developers of land west of today's Hyde Park neighborhood. The portion of central Hyde Park straight east of Hyde Park park (pardon the redundancy) was given the second name.

Other subdivisions bearing similar "high falooting" names include: Glenairy Place (1900), Hampden Place (1887), Hampden Parkway (1906), Highgate (1888), Kenwood Annex (1887), Lansdowne (1887), Mt. Pleasant (1887), Regents' Park (1887), Vanderbilt Place (1886), and Worcester Park (1886).

Note the English place names in these attempts at evoking exclusivity. Janssen Place was named for the Dutch financial backer who loaned Arthur Stilwell money to build the K.C. Southern railroad.

Another common pattern was to name the subdivision after a main street which bordered or ran through it. The already mentioned Troost Avenue Heights (1887) is an example. Others of this type include Harrison Boulevard Place (1905), Linwood Avenue Heights (1888), Springfield Place (1885—31st Street was originally Springfield Avenue), Troost Avenue Park (1886), and Troost Highlands (1885).

Finally, there are subdivisions with neat names for which there is no apparent rhyme or reason behind the choice. These include Arcade Place (1887), Edna Place (1887), Logan Place (1887), Nicolett Place (1886), Neisho (1906), Sunny Slope (1902, although it can be argued that this is an early example of the use of geographical terrain to determine the name), and Tullis Park (1887).