David Belden

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

James Wolfinger, PhD

Second Advisor

John Taccarino, PhD

Third Advisor

Anthony Dosen, CM, PhD


In the years that followed the end of World War II, the University of Chicago was a national leader in education. The University influenced economic growth, national security, and scholarly achievement through its professional education and scientific research. As a university located in a large metropolitan area, the University of Chicago also faced a dramatically changing set of neighborhood conditions that not only threatened its position and role within higher education, but also experienced social forces that jeopardized the future of the institution in the Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhoods. With the gradual decline of large American cities in the postwar decades, including Chicago, the University of Chicago sought to curb the economic and social change in the Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhoods with an active role in the urban renewal efforts of the 1950s and 1960s. This dissertation focuses on a positive role the University of Chicago played in stabilizing the surrounding neighborhoods of Hyde Park-Kenwood between 1952 and 1973. More specifically, this research looks at how the University of Chicago changed, not only the physical environment surrounding its campus, but actually made a positive difference to the community, by creating a stable, integrated community. A positive case for urban renewal can be found in the story of Kenwood High School, a neighborhood school that was built during the final stages of renewal near the University of Chicago.

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