Chaddick Institute Illinois Center and Lakeshore East Tour on Sunday, October 24, 2021
by Staff


Matthew Kaplan

On Sunday, October 24, 2021, Forgotten Chicago collaborated with the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University for a top-to-bottom tour exploring Illinois Center and Lakeshore East. Previously offered by Forgotten Chicago in 2016, this is the only known comprehensive tour offered of this area rich with Chicago history, infrastructure and architecture.


Top: Forgotten Chicago Archives Bottom: Matthew Kaplan

Illinois Center and Lakeshore East is a fascinating and overlooked area of Chicago with 100 years of planning and construction, and still incomplete today. Above, Chaddick Director Dr. Joseph P. Schweiterman, PhD (above right, looking at camera) gives an overview a history of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) Millennium Park terminal and the South Shore Line.


Matthew Kaplan

Illinois Center has a long history of ambitious unbuilt projects, going back to the 1920s. Shown above is the empty parcel touted as the location of the Mandarin Oriental Tower, a 74-story luxury hotel and condominium tour announced during the 2000s housing bubble.


Matthew Kaplan

One of the themes explored during this tour was Illinois Center and Lakeshore East’s relationship with its two greatest physical assets, Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. The only ground-level connection to the lakefront, shown above left, is a narrow traffic tunnel to North Westshore Drive.

Matthew Kaplan

The drastic changes to the infrastructure of this area is perhaps best seen in the former right-of-way of DuSable Lake Shore Drive. Former routes of DuSable Lake Shore Drive was explored in a 2008 Forgotten Chicago feature.

Many thanks to the participants who braved a rainy Sunday and joined us on this tour. Forgotten Chicago is looking forward to future collaboration with the Chaddick Institute for presentations and tours in the years ahead.

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