A strip of land in front of the University of Chicago
campus, roughly 1 city block wide and over a mile
long, characterized by a gigantic depression
in the middle. It was originally intended to be a canal
for pleasure boat
s during the 1893 Columbian Exposition
, until some genius
realized that all of Hyde Park
was several feet under sea level
, and connecting it to Lake Michigan
would probably be a bad idea
. The project was hastily aborted, but the depression was never filled.
Since then, it's become the home of numerous athletic fields and a temporary skating rink in the winter. For those more sadistically-minded, it's a great joy to sit in the Classics cafe, sipping coffee and looking out at all the poor first years having to cross the big ditch in the winter, trying to climb up or down the icy slopes. Inevitably, they manage to get up only to find they've dropped or left their bookbags or what not down there, and have to start the whole process over again. And the fun continues...