In 1882 Potter Palmer (big deal Chicago millionaire) moved from the south Loop Prairie District neighborhood to the north side. He built a ridiculous mansion ... seriously google Potter Palmer Mansion it's beyond ridiculous you won't be disappointed. The wealthy quickly followed him to the north side and the Gold Coast soon became one of the richest neighborhoods in the county.
The above is the Charnley Persky House (1365 N Astor St). It was designed by Louis Sullivan who assisted by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1892. James Charnley was a lumberman, after living in the house for about a decade it changed hands several times until Seymour Persky purchased it to donate to the Society of Architectural Historians in 1995.
Located at 1555 North State Parkway you'll find the Archbishop's Residence. The first archbishop of Chicago, Most Rev. Patrick Feehan had the mansion built in 1885. Several popes have stayed at the residence prior to becoming the pontiff, Pope John Paul II stayed while visiting Chicago in 1979. Every single archbishop has stayed at the residence until the current archbishop, Blase Cupich.
At 1340 N. State Parkway (above and below photos) you'll find a lovely red brick building. It's current state as luxury (if you can call $2.7 million for a condo luxury!) condos doesn't show any of it's crazy past. This house while built for a prominent surgeon in 1899 it was in 1959 that a young Hugh Hefner who had just started Playboy six years earlier.
Whenever I get close to the Gold Coast it's usually just to rush through to get to the Chicago History Museum. Getting a chance to stroll and enjoy the gorgeous 60 degree February day I saw such amazing details in the neighborhood. I've never seen a gas lamp like the one above before in the city. There was just one of them too. I'm sure there is a story behind it but I haven't been able to track it down yet!
I can't wait until it gets warmer so I can explore more of this gorgeous neighborhood again!
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