Thursday, December 05, 2013

The greatest intersection in the world: 58th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago

The excellent 57th Street Books.
on, er, 57th Street
The University of Chicago gave the world the atomic bomb and Milton Friedman. Its peacefully isolated campus in Hyde Park also contains what must be one of the world's most aesthetically elevating intersections, that of 58th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, whose northeast corner is home to Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, and whose southwest corner houses the Museum of the Oriental Institute.

Robie House, 1908-1910, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Wright was one of the twentieth century's great architects, maybe the greatest, and the Oriental Institute houses one of the world's best collections of Near and Middle Eastern antiquities. And it doesn't just show the treasures, it excavated many of them.  On top of all this dizzying cultural wealth at 58th and Woodlawn, you can get a terrific pizza just two blocks away. What intersection in what city can match all this?

(Photos by your humble blogkeeper, who will now get some sleep because he has museums to visit tomorrow.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

Detail from the decoration at the palace
 of Sargon II of Assyria

Hand-wringing Mesopotamian priest.

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Blogger Unknown said...

There is in my memory an "intersection" in Pittsburgh that may not match Chicago's but remains a special place of magical confluences.

In the 50s and 60s, Forbes Field, the Cathedral of Learning (U of Pitt), the Carnegie Museums of Natural History and Art, the Carnegie Library, Schenley Park, Phipps Conservatory, the Schenley Hotel--although perhaps actually separated by several blocks--have morphed over time in my mind into sharing space at one grand and glorious intersection. Oh, how I loved to wander around those locales. That is the one of the most significant things I miss about urban living: the concentration of so much in such a specific amount of space. Old cities have that special kind of charm.

December 05, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Forbes Field is what makes that one special. Cathedrals of learning are a dime of dozen, but how many of them have a baseball stadium on the premises?

December 05, 2013  
Blogger Unknown said...

A cheap seat at Forbes Field while watching Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazerowski, and others . . . life doesn't get any better/

December 05, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I found when I visited the Field Museum today that Soldier Field is across the street. Connoisseurs of hard-nosed football and hard-nosed ethnographic collections can rejoice.

December 05, 2013  

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