By air and by car to 1350 North Lake Shore Drive, Gold Coast

From the 1880s until its demolition in 1950, 1350 N Lake Shore Dr was the site of the largest private residence in the city, designed by architects Henry Ives Cobb and Charles Sumner Frost for Bertha and Potter Palmer. Construction of the fabled Palmer Mansion, at a cost of more than $1 million, helped establish the Gold Coast as Chicago’s premier residential neighborhood. The Palmer Mansion hosted US Presidents and foreign royalty, and housed a collection of French Impressionist paintings that now rests at the Art Institute. A later owner once proposed building the world’s largest hotel on the site.

In 1951 Draper and Kramer replaced the castellated Palmer Mansion with mirrored 22-story brick buildings designed by Richard Marsh Bennett, who also designed the Old Orchard shopping center and Oakbrook Center. The historic preservation movement held little sway at the time, and the demolition and construction proceeded without appreciable controversy.

Today 1350-1360 North Lake Shore Drive stands as one of only two apartment complexes on North Lake Shore Drive. The other, 1420 N Lake Shore Dr, is a 1920s building with half-floor 4-bedroom, 4 ½ bath apartments.

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