The City Club of Chicago
111 Grand Avenue
January 19, 2011
The Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S. Michigan Avenue
To purchase a copy of the book:
Chicago's Lake Shore Drive: Urban America's Most Beautiful Roadway
Travel America's highways from Maine to San Diego and you'll find almost universal agreement that no urban road compares to the stunning beauty and charm of Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. For more than 19 miles it edges the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago providing one spectacular view after another. It cuts through four city parks, adjoins five major museums and one zoo, and is the home address of Chicago's cultural, business and political leaders. If you live in Chicago, it is the road you boast about. If you are a visitor to the "City That Works," its magnificence takes your breath away. Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic, says simply that he's "never seen a more beautiful urban roadway." Words alone cannot tell the story. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout its 208 pages with more than 250 black and white and color photographs representing the past 150 years of the roadway's progress from a pleasant horse and buggy pathway in front of Gold Coast mansions of Potter Palmer and his friends to the eight-lane hybrid boulevard of today. Page after page contains the pictorial history of how the road was carved from swampland and lakefront using a combination of sand, landfill and debris from the remnants of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. The book includes interviews with more than 20 well-known Chicagoans in addition to Blair Kamin, including the Honorable Abner Mikva, former U.S. Congressman and Federal Appellate Judge, the Honorable U.S. Congressman Janice Schakowsky, Irma Trantor, President of Friends of the Parks, Daniel Walsh, President, The Walsh Group, architect Philip Enquist, the Honorable Neil Hartigan, former Illinois Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor, Daniel McCaffery, President, McCaffery Interests, newspaper and television journalist Bill Zwecker, and John Norquist, President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism. An added treat is a first person account by rock composer, Skip Haynes, about his wild trip on the Drive one early morning that led him to write his famous ode, Lake Shore Drive.