In 1882, local businessman Potter Palmer built a mansion in what is now known as the Gold Coast. Other wealthy individuals followed Palmer and became his neighbors. In an ironic twist, this neighborhood once was home to both the original Playboy mansion and the leader of the catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.
Today, the Gold Coast is still one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the United States. The general N-E-S-W borders are: North Avenue, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable Lake Shore Drive, Chicago Avenue and LaSalle Street. Along with the other neighborhoods in and around downtown Chicago, the Gold Coast is one of the most desirable places to call home. The neighborhood is part of the Near North Side community area.
One of the neighborhood’s hotspots is the section packed with hotels and restaurants typically referred to as either Rush Street or the Viagra Triangle. It is the center of nightlife and fine dining for the neighborhood and, arguably, the city.
There are large grocery chains sprinkled throughout the Near North Side community. The Gold Coast also has smaller grocers that could be found in some large condominium buildings, and at least one off street market–Potash–located at Clark Street and Germania Place.
Lake Michigan provides a spectacular vista for hundreds of properties throughout the city. Sharing a border with the lakefront, the neighborhood has many condominiums that either abut DuSable Lake Shore Drive or provide direct lake front views.
In keeping with its origins, there are several mansions in the neighborhood. It is rare to find single family detached properties near downtown Chicago, and the Gold Coast properties typically are valued in the seven figures.
Washington Square Park, Chicago’s oldest existing small park, was originally donated to the city in 1842 as a three acre parcel. There is a central fountain and open space that allows for peaceful respites from city living. The park was added tot he National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
The city has provided many playgrounds and sandlots for children to enjoy the outdoors. William Goudy Square Playground, located at the intersection of Goethe (ger- tah) Street and Astor Street, is one such park that is in the Gold Coast.
Founded in 1887 from a gift by businessman Walter L. Newberry, the Newberry Library is private research library that is open to the public.
The Germania Club building is the historic headquarters for the the oldest German-American organization in the city. Designed in 1888, this building is home to cultural exhibition space, a health club, a cafe, and a pre-school. The building is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Latin School of Chicago has been a Gold Coast fixture since the 1800’s. It is a private selective enrollment institution that caters to residents from the area.
The neighborhood’s public elementary school is the Ogden International School of Chicago.
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