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Curbed Cup 1st Round: Hyde Park (1) v. Bronzeville (8)

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The Curbed Cup, Curbed Chicago's annual Neighborhood of the Year tournament, is kicking off with eight (quarter)finalists, who will square off in a series of one-on-one matchups. Voting for each matchup will close in the wee hours of the following day. We'll have one per day through the week; results will be reviewed Friday. Let the eliminations begin!

Hyde Park has had a poster year. A couple of really big, virtually conjoined developments, Harper Court and Village Center are revving up in the commercial heart of the 'hood, while the University of Chicago continues to flex its development muscle, with its flashy Helmut-Jahn-designed Mansueto Library and nearly complete Logan Arts Center. On the residential side, the National Landmark Del Prado hotel underwent head-to-toe renovation of its 194 apartments and its drool-inducing art deco lobby. Rents are in line with the neighborhood, which remains affordable to many.

The underdog is Bronzeville, which received a couple of persuasive nods from readers. The 'hood has risen to and fallen from favor before, but a lingering lust for its old housing stock keeps it in the conversation. Development is beginning to fill in the crater left behind by the Robert Taylor Homes, like the 138-unit Savoy Square and phase 2 of Park Boulevard. The neighborhood got a new Metra stop, and the 31st Street Harbor project, while technically in Douglas, could prove a boon to Bronzeville as well.

Poll results

·2011 Curbed Cup: Name Chicago's Best Neighborhood!! [Curbed Chicago]