HYDE PARK — A stretch of 58th Street near the University of Chicago campus will close permanently early next week.
East 58th Street between Woodlawn and University avenues will be closed starting Tuesday to make way for an extension of the university quad. The new pedestrian path will connect the main campus with the Booth School of Business at 5807 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Renovations to the former Chicago Theological Seminary at 5757 S. University Ave. have closed one lane of 58th Street already as construction crews excavate two underground classrooms as the building is converted into the Becker Friedman Center for Research in Economics.
The university has recently completed rerouting the alley that once emptied onto 58th Street to Woodlawn Avenue between the wings of the old seminary and is beginning construction this month on an extension to the building. The new wing of the Becker Friedman Center will include a glass structure connecting the former seminary to two neighboring school buildings.
The university was waiting until nursery school students were dismissed for the summer before starting work. Students will move to the new Earl Shapiro Early Childhood Center at 5800 S. Stony Island Ave. in September. The two nursery school buildings at 5740 and 5750 S. Woodlawn Ave. will be incorporated into the economics institute expansion.
Twenty-nine parking spaces are expected to be lost as the block of 58th Street between the economics institute and the Oriental Institute is converted to a pedestrian path. A traffic study by the university suggested replacing the lost parking by allowing parking on both sides of East 59th Street and converting the east side of Drexel Avenue to diagonal parking.