Zoom In: Hyde Park | Zoom in | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » Zoom in

Zoom In: Hyde Park

A real-life Medieval Times in Hyde Park, or something


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Walking due east on the 59th street border of the University of Chicago campus, the life of the mind can be found in many forms. Upon passing the Gothic stylings of the Arley D. Cathey Learning Center and hearing the bells of Rockefeller Chapel proclaiming their tonal humanism, you may encounter a battle between two medieval knights. If this all appears anachronistic, then, congratulations, you do not attend the University of Chicago.

These are the antics of the Shire of Gray Gargoyles—the Hyde Park chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which specializes in the history of the Middle Ages. Members participate in a variety of activities, including cooking, dance, and combat—all in tune with medieval etiquette, of course. The club meets in Ida Noyes Hall every Sunday, their Monty-Python-like antics often spilling out onto the fringes of the Midway. This means that the event is situated in the Midlands region—medieval for "midwest"—specifically in the Midlands of Illinois, for those of you whose GPS defaults to Middle Earth.

Many members are U. of C. students and staff, enriching the lively tradition of UChicosplay—which runs the gamut from artfully themed frat parties, where the chances of meeting a genuine dungeon master are high, to undergraduates disguised as philosophy professors.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Add a comment