The Silver Room
Where: The Silver Room in Hyde Park. 1506 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615. Originally opened in Wicker Park, moved to Hyde Park, and now returned to open a second location in Wicker Park.
What: The Silver Room is a small business that celebrates local art, culture, and community. It is self-described as a Chicago institution and has been a vibrant force in neighborhoods since 1997. In addition to its shop, the Silver Room sponsors multiple cultural experiences and community events such as the annual Silver Room Block Party.
If one were to walk down the bustling commercial corridors of 53rd Street in Hyde Park, it’d be difficult to overlook the aesthetically decorated windows of the Silver Room and not take note of the warmth and smiles that this space immediately exudes. The Silver Room is a retail space where art, fashion, and community come together to form Hyde Park’s “third place”. They sell a mix of locally and internationally sourced handmade jewelry, accessories, clothing, artwork, home goods, among other eclectic mix of items.
The Silver Room is the epitome of destination shopping and cultivates its own sense of community by being a warm and welcoming environment for both local residents just stopping by or suburbanites who frequent the weekly tango classes. It consistently hosts a catalog of community events, ranging from storytelling to bringing in DJs for impromptu dance parties. Their largest event is consistently the annual Silver Room Block Party which is hosted in Downtown Hyde Park and now brings around 40,000 visitors to the neighborhood each summer. The block party strives to celebrate eclecticism, warmth, and individuality and hosts 130+ artists and features 70-80 local vendors to display the multicultural elements of Chicago.
1. People Connection (community activation) a. Community events like storytelling encourage people to connect through shared stories b. The physical store and their events strives to invite as many local vendors to the store, exposing customers to the slew of artists that exist beyond Hyde Park c. The store constantly offers tango classes, hosts in-house DJs, and invites local nonprofit organizations to share their mission with the community 2. Place Connection (public realm activation) a. The Block Party activates the 53rd Street commercial corridor and drives countless of foot traffic to downtown Hyde Park b. Sidewalk activation with store signs and displays c. Utilizes nearby Harper Court for their outdoor events