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Friday, 11 November 2011 14:30

9 Sites to See in the Gold Coast Featured

Written by  Mike Chamernik
John Wellborn Root Homes John Wellborn Root Homes

Chicago’s Gold Coast has its nickname for a reason.

Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood, which is bordered by Lake Michigan, North Avenue, LaSalle Street and Oak Street, is one of the city’s most upscale and exclusive neighborhoods. Many of Chicago’s A-listers live in the area’s luxurious brownstones and mansions.

The Gold Coast started to resemble what it is today back in the 1880s, when Potter Palmer, merchant, real estate developer, and namesake of the Palmer House hotel, built his mansion there. His house, appropriately named Palmer Mansion, inspired other rich Chicagoans to build nice homes there as well.

And, just so you can live the high life for a little while, experience the Gold Coast through a self-guided walking tour, highlighting a few notable sights to see.

  1. Lake Shore Drive Mansions, 1250-1260 N. Lake Shore Dr. There are four homes to see at this stop, with three different styles of architecture to look at (Romanesque Revival, Venetian Gothic, and Georgian). Each of the buildings are quite grand, as one would expect.

  2. John Wellborn Root Homes, 1308-1312 N. Astor St. Root was a famous 19th Century architect, and he built a few tall brick homes with high-pitched roofs on Astor Street.

  3. Potter Palmer Row Homes, 1316-1322 N. Astor St. These are right next door to the Root Homes. These brick and stone houses are four stories tall and are styled in the Romanesque Revival fashion.

  4. Astor Court, 1355 N. Astor St. Built by Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1914, this residence is of Georgian Revival architecture.

  5. Charnley-Persky House, 1365 N. Astor St. This landmark was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan. It is made of beautiful stone and light brown brick, and its second floor balcony has columns.

  6. Patterson-McCormick Mansion, 20 E. Burton Pl. This four-floor house was built in 1893 by Stanford White, and its orange Roman brick is adorned with terra-cotta trim. Today it houses luxury condos.

  7. 1525 North Astor, 1525 N. Astor St. The townhouse itself is nice, with its colorful brick and detailed trim, but this is known as the residence of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln. The younger Lincoln practiced law in Chicago.

  8. Archbishop’s Residence, 1555 N. State Pkwy. Its name is not misleading: this is the residence of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago. This dwelling was built in 1885, has 19 chimneys, and is made of red brick.

  9. Madlener House, 4 W. Burton Pl. The Madlener House is a 9,000 square foot Prairie-style mansion, and is around 110 years old. The house even has an art deco influence.