Lake Shore Drive

North Lake Shore Drive from Hancock Building, 2014. Photo credit: Romanbeod Flckr

Lake Shore Drive is a choice, if not particularly exclusive, street. According to the U.S. Census, more than 10,000 of the Near North Side’s 80,000 residents live within a block west of Lake Shore Drive. Another 774 live in Lake Point Tower at 505 N. Lake Shore Drive (the only odd numbered address and the […]

Read More

Winneconna Parkway: Venice in Chicago

silohetted trees and houses, with reflections in the lagoon

  No need to move to Italy or California to live on a Venetian canal. You can live on Chicago’s own Winneconna Parkway. The houses surrounding Auburn Park overlook the lagoon and its beautiful stone bridges. The name Winneconna is ...possibly derived from Ween-kan-ing, Algonquin for "place where marrow is obtained,” according to one authority, […]

Read More

Amusement Park Fun

Ferris wheel

This is the time of year when I start thinking about packing up the family and heading to an amusement park. The lure of funnel cakes, roller coasters and log flume rides beckons me. Amusement parks have been around for centuries, with the oldest one, Dyrehausbakken—Bakken for short—located near Copenhagen in Denmark. Bakken began in […]

Read More

Everybody Loves State Street

Street Scene

State Street is celebrated in song—Frank Sinatra croons, “State Street, that great street” in the song "Chicago." Blues master Jimmy Yancey performed the "State Street Special." Although unnamed on the original plat map, State Street formed the eastern boundary of Chicago when the town was incorporated in 1833. The street originally was an Indian trail going […]

Read More

The 606 Revitalizes Bloomingdale Trail

The 606 trail

So The 606 opens on 06/06. What is The 606? Excellent question! Essentially, The 606 is a public space project, akin to Manhattan's High Line, centered around the Bloomingdale Trail. What is the Bloomingdale Trail? Again, a most excellent question! The Bloomingdale Trail is an elevated pedestrian and cyclist thoroughfare that runs along West Bloomingdale Avenue […]

Read More

Bright Lights, Big City, Great Books

Source: sfgamchick, Flickr

Neon signs—they put the bright lights in our big city. Garish and brassy, they beckon with color and light and martinis and stars. Subtle they are not. But still, I love them. Back in March, though, Preservation Chicago named neon signs one of the most endangered “architectural treasures” in Chicago. Since May is Preservation Month, it’s […]

Read More

Wentworth Avenue 街決永

Building photo

Chicago’s Wentworth Avenue runs south from 16th Street all of the way to the far southern suburbs. It is one of several south side streets that do not continue to the Loop. Wentworth is mostly in line with Wells Street in the Loop, but Wells Street continues south, jogs a bit and runs parallel to […]

Read More

What Do Memorial Day and Logan Square Have in Common?

General John A. Logan. Source: Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign by George N. Barnard

The first official Memorial Day in 1868 was held to honor fallen Civil War soldiers. The national day of remembrance, May 30, was declared by John A. Logan in his role as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a veterans' group for Union soldiers. John A. Logan was born in Jackson County in southern Illinois. […]

Read More

26th Street: Not just a Street, but a Neighborhood

Picture of arch

Although 26th Street runs from Lake Michigan to Twenty-Sixth Street Woods in west suburban Broadview, a mention of 26th Street usually means the neighborhood around 26th Street between California Avenue and Chicago’s western city limit. This neighborhood is known as Little Village, or La Villita (the Spanish equivalent) by people who live there. Officially this […]

Read More

Rush Street: The Place to be in 1950

Rush Street Sign

Rush Street is a narrow street stretching from the Chicago River (400 North) to Cedar Street (1138 North). Rush was named after Dr. Benjamin Rush, a famous Revolutionary War doctor. In the mid-twentieth century, Rush Street meant nightclubs. Chicago: Confidential! describes Rush Street in 1950: East of Clark Street is Rush Street. Clark gets the […]

Read More