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The Gold Coast

It is difficult for visitors to Chicago's elegant "Gold Coast" neighborhood to accept that the entire area was at one time undeveloped marshland written off by Chicago's city council as unmarketable.

However, in 1882, Chicago entrepeneur Potter Palmer boldly decided to build his grand mansion in this previously undesirable area far removed from the more coveted districts claimed by the city's prominent society families. Not long afterward,the general area bordered by Lake Shore Drive on the east, Lincoln Park on the north, Oak Street on the south and Clark Street on the west, became the city's most prestigious residential district.

The "Gold Coast" remains today Chicago's most exclusive residential enclave. Its real estate values are amongst the highest in all of the U.S. It is not only Chicago's most desirable address but also a neighborhood that encloses some of the city's most stately and historic architecture.

Your guide will point out Romanesque, Queen Anne, Tudor, Georgian and Art Deco mansions and tell the stories of the "old money" that built them. Your walk will take you along pleasant tree-lined streets and through the Astor Street Historic District,home to both the sprawling Roman Catholic Cardinal's residence and the Italian Renaissance palazzo-style mansion of industrialist Cyrus McCormick, just two of dozens of opulent mansions along the way.

The "Gold Coast" is truly a tour wherein every house has its own personality and its own lore. It is an area that speaks out about the hope Chicago offered after the Great Fire to those individuals whose optimism and courage allowed them to see through the devastation to the new Chicago and its unlimited commercial and industrial opportunities.

Lincoln Pk'Gold Coast Rowhouses #4.jpg
Cardinal's residence.jpg

Schedule - May 1st-October 31st

Time - Call or email for available times

Meet - In front of the main entrance to the Chicago History Museum at 1601 N.Clark Street.

Minimum Number - 4 persons

Cost - $35 per person. No Credit Cards.
See the FAQ page for policies regarding discounted costs for children under 14.

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