May 06, 2011

The Inner Drive

Once called Sheridan Road
along our lakefront
The story of Sheridan Road is also the story of North Lake Shore Drive within the Township/City of Lake View. There was always a desire to construct a roadway along the lakefront. In regards to old Lake View their would be two that seem to converge by the uneducated eye from Belmont Avenue to just north of Grace Street but then would be  routed west and then north once again at Sheffield Avenue. 
I have two posts about two roadways, this one on Sheridan Road and the other on North Lake Shore Drive but for Lake View resident readers maybe I should have only post one. Read and view - you will discover the reason. 
The General Sheridan Monument
Sheridan Road was birth child of an already existing roadway along the existing shoreline. In 1875 North-Lake Shore Drive was constructed southward toward Oak Street (near Potter Palmer mansion) and north of the park, Lincoln Park, through Lake View Avenue passed Diversey Boulevard (Parkway) to Belmont Avenue. 
For that date forward city planners, members of The Lincoln Park Commission, who were representatives of the City of Chicago and the Township/City of Lake View would wrestle with existing property owners for the riparian rights to construct a northward expansion of the drive along the existing shoreline from Lincoln Park, the park as far as Highland Park by the turn of the 20th century. By the mid of the 1890's and after the death of the famous general who commanded the city after the Chicago Fire of 1871 the then called North Lake-Shore Drive (actually spelling at the time) was not only to be renamed Sheridan Road and expanded beyond Highland Park but to Milwaukee Wisconsin. 
Before a Roadway
I wish to give my readers an idea of what the lakefront looked like before major development along the existing shoreline at the dawn of the 20th century.
According to a source called Calumet 412 this artist depiction  is the landscape along the existing lakefront south of Grace Street as of 1867 - probably from the Lake View Hotel itself. 
photos - Ebay   
The Roadway along the Lake
Sheridan Road aka North Lake-Shore Drive started as a dream of City Chicago & Township of Lake View planners. For the township planners the dream began in 1886.
This University of Chicago 1898 map (zoomed) that indicates Sheridan Road from Diversey Parkway to it's westward direction to Sheffield Avenue and then north again. The segment of road from Fullerton Avenue to Belmont Avenue was originally Lake View Avenue. That changed that decade.
The building in the photo is an ice cream shop called
Kostankos Brothers Ice Cream. This segment of the road had a boardwalk along the the roadway from Belmont Avenue to just north of Grace Street until storms of 1929.  
 Sheridan Road view north to northwest 1912
Ice Cream shack is visible in both photos 
- Chicago History Museum
This particular roadway, originally to be the drive along the shoreline was renamed in honor of General Sheridan by the a committee that was charged of the construction of the roadway and the park - The Lincoln Park Commission
The General 
General Philip Henry Sheridan was
Commander of Chicago after the Chicago Fire of 1871
The Chicago Daily News article below tells a tale of the General who helped save the Union as well as Chicago
But according to a publication called 'Chicago and the Great Conflagration' by Elias Colbert & Everett Chamberlin - (p.398). General Sheridan's military rule over Chicago only lasted 14 days and not with some controversy. One of Sherman's federalized home-guard soldiers was challenged an important citizen of Chicago. The soldier shot the citizen dead after the citizen refused to comply. The soldier was arrested allowing the opponents to force the feds to end military rule hence relieve General Sheridan of his duties & returning local authority to Mayor of Chicago. 
Postcard indicates 300 miles of road 
- Cow Card via Max Rigot Selling Company
The roadway from Lincoln Park to eventually Milwaukee, Wisconsin would serve as a reminder to labor unions that the federal troops in this federal fort could be used at anytime to end any potential strikes by citizens of Chicago or Milwaukee. Manufacturers did not want a repeat of the Haymarket Riots of 1886 nor the Pullman strike of 1894.
parade grounds north and south of the tower
photos - Library of Congress
 Fort Sheridan Parade Grounds 1915 - Daily News Arhives
 ROTC march probably along Sheridan Road 1917 
via Chicago History Museum
Caravan of supplies probably on Sheridan Road 
from the fort 1927 - Chicago History Museum
The end of the road for the troops - Chicago lakefront
Sheridan Road was used to marshal federal troops to Chicago to end labor strikes. Apparently Grant Park was a perfect campsite location. - Chicago History in Postcards 
Tent set up in Grant Park by soldiers from Fort Sheridan with the Michigan Avenue skyline in the background 
1910 photo - Man on Five 
In 1993 Fort Sheridan was closed to be converted 
to private property called
The Town of Fort Sheridan
Below of photos taken during my visit to the 
Town of Fort Sheridan in the summer of 2013.

 The former general's resident - there are two.
 The grand walk-way to a general's residence
 The style houses of residents for the top military brass
 The view of the main tower from inside the old fort
Photos by blogger - Garry Albrecht
The Mapping of a Roadway 1890-1910
1890 University of Chicago Collection - Charles Gilbert Real Estate map shows that the only road along the shoreline in the new District of Lake View from Lincoln Park (the park) was Lake View Avenue that stretched from Fullerton Avenue to Belmont Avenue near the existing lakefront.
1892 University of Chicago Collection Rand McNally map shows Lake View Avenue as a link to Belmont Avenue that linked the park with the former City of Lake View.
Later in 1892 per this University of Chicago Collection-Rand McNally map this new roadway called Sheridan Road ended at Bryon Street that would later be called Sheridan Road, as well. This roadway would take another turn from Bryon Street to Sheffield northward. Sheffield Avenue would end at this segment also be called Sheridan Road. 
1897-99 University of Chicago Collection Rand McNally map shows Byron Street and Sheffield north of Byron Street now named Sheridan Road. At the lower left of the map indicate the then proposed extension of Lincoln Park (the park). 
It appears that the road (top right) along the lakefront was initially planned to be constructed westward as a landfill into the lake from Grace Street probably as part of a Lincoln Park extension northward as shown below in these edited University of Illinois-Chicago maps as of 1897.
The Broadwalk of Old Lake View
The Broadwalk at Grace Street and Sheridan Road
- Chuckman Collection 1910 or earlier

The Boardwalk near Grace Street off Sheridan Road
1915 photo - Chicago History Museum 
This 1910 University of Chicago Collection Rand McNally map below shows proposed new harbor to be later called Belmont Yacht Harbor. The then called 'Yacht Harbor' was open to the public in 1913.
Elisha Hundley owned a lot of the property in old subdivision of Pine Grove in the old township of Lake View. He co-owned a hotel between Grace Street and present day Sheridan Road called Lake View Hotel which was to be the namesake of the township, city, and finally neighborhood. The City of Chicago needed court permission to make this strip of road along the existing lakefront public and not part of the Elisha Hundley private estate. Gaining riparian rights along the lakefront was a major issue during the construction.
The following Daily News articles tell a tale of the evolution of the original North-Shore Drive through Lake View Township beginning in 1871   
Planning Stages 
through Old Lake View
As a reminder the Township/City of Lake View ranged from Fullerton to Devon Avenues from 1857-1889
The construction of any roadway in 1871
From Lincoln Park to Lake View Hotel 1873
 
Three Miles from Lake View Hotel 
to Evanston
Devon Avenue was the then border between Evanston & the Township of Lake View
 Permission Granted by 
the Township of Lake View 
from Lake View Avenue to Devon 1875
Opening Day later that Year
The Year of the Hay Market Riots and 
the Plans for the Drive 1886 
The Pullman Strike of 1894 added fuel for the continuation of the roadway along the shoreline to later renaming it after General Sheridan as a reminder to strikers of the connection of the roadway to the federal troops at Fort Sheridan.
  The Road is Now called 'Sheridan Road' 1889
The Topography 1889
Discussion on the twist & turns options
The topography was a bit different. The lake was a stone throw away existing shoreline (150 feet from shoreline). This article mentions a pebble beach at the Marine (federal) Hospital by Clarendon and Montrose northward indicating a bluff along the lakefront that was located near the Lake View Hotel. Either the city did not wanted to engage Washington D.C. with red-tape that would maybe allow the road to run its existing route along the lakeshore or keep it local by finding a route around the federal hospital. Read more with this link.
(click to enlarge)
 page 2 

page 3
 
  Private property Issues 1891
This Particular Land Dispute that delayed the
extension of North-Lake Shore Drive Northward 1892 
This article below mentions that a strip of land that belonged to the heirs of Mr. Huntley (co-owner of Lake View Hotel) that was apparently sold by his heirs to non-family investors who did not have a deed. The other issue was that according to Mr. Huntley's will the lakefront property was to preserved as 'public land' and not private property upon his death. This 5 part 1892 article with map is a perfect example of the legal struggles of acquiring riparian rights along the lakefront at that time for both Sheridan Road & North Lake Shore Drive.
 
page 2
 
page 3

 page 4

Also in 1891
Sheridan Road westward
Why the Roadway Turned West 
north of Grace Street
1898 photo - Daily News Archives 
The Lincoln Park Commission was a governing body that decided the direction & expansion of both Lincoln Park as well as North Lake Shore Drive
The court decision 1892  
that allowed public access along the lakefront that in turn allowed the construction of the then called 
North-Lake Shore Drive from Belmont to Grace Street
Commentary 1893 
Apparently by 1894 most of North-Lake Shore Drive was renamed from Chicago to the Lake Forest
  
Sheridan Road improved from the park to & through the community of Edgewater except for some uncompleted patches in the community of Rogers Park 1896   
This article mentions the completion 
of Sheridan Road to Lake Forest in 1900
The Sights & Scenes of Sheridan Road
Promoting the roadway in 1895
Biking to Fort Sheridan in 1895
 

Connecting Cities in 1897
 
1905  The first Chicago Marathon begins in Evanston Golf Course and ends in Washington Park using the "unpaved Sheridan Road" to do it. According to the link, 'After about 5 miles, the runners veered right onto southbound Sheridan Road. The surface of the road was unpaved, and considerable dust was dispersed into the air by vehicles and bikes, to the consternation of runners. A few runners paused for lemons and oranges as means of immediate relief from throat irritation before continuing.'
 From Devon Avenue in 1912
The worlds longest and scenic roadway
- struggles and near completion later in 1912

 
This Chicago Daily News article indicates a land transfer from Rogers Park Township Park District to Chicago Park District in 1913
that legally allowed the improvement on Sheridan Road beyond the Edgewater community- District of Lake View then north to Evanston Township and then beyond to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This transfer of authority also allowed City of Chicago to plan the park expansion northward and outward into the lake in the 1930's and 1940's with funding by a Depression era program called the WPA.
view of Sheridan Road north of Belmont Yacht Harbor
photo - Chicago History in Postcards
 According to a Chicago Daily News article the new Belmont Yacht Harbor was landfilled/created and then opened to the public as of 1913. The advertisement insert above shows 
the park & the harbor along the then segment of the roadway called Sheridan Road until it was again renamed by the City Chicago to Lake Shore Drive in 1931 or as it is referred to as Inner Lake Shore Drive to the locals.
Homes along the Road
Sheridan Road meets Pine Grove 1910 
photo - Ebay
1913 postcard - Ebay
The road at Waukegan
Skyscrapers begin to rise on Sheridan Road during the 20's
(post 1909 address is 3740 inner LSD)
Widening Sheridan Road in 1923

The Sheridan Monument 
at Belmont Avenue
         planned in 1907 & dedicated in 1924    
Monument of General Sheridan 
erected in 1924 along Sheridan Road at Belmont Avenue. 
The stature was designed by the same man 
who designed Mt. Rushmore (video) Gutzon Borglum
image - Online Archive of California
The 1907 Plans
The 1924 dedication
Traffic of both Roadways in 1928



A proposed plan for the congestion later in 1928 
but at Grace Street
 Bryon Street renamed to Sheridan Road in 1928
A segment of Sheridan Road was re-named to 
(inner) Lake Shore Drive 1931
Bottleneck Continues 
near Grace Street in 1929

photo - Chuckman Collection
1940 map of all the routes in Chicago
images - American Negro Exposition via Man on Five
zoomed views


is parked in front of the old Ravenswood post office at Wilson and Ravenswood Avenues. The sign on the bus indicating the route reads "53 Sheridan Rd. Clarendon Ave. 
& Wilson Ave. / Jackson Blvd."
1919 photo - Ishaq Hani via
Northwest side of Chicago-Facebook
both postcards - Chuckman Collection
photos - from CardCow
Double Deck Motor Bus Company
The back of the above postcards read the following:
'The motor coaches started at Devon Avenue and Sheridan Road and traveled downtown via Sheridan Road, through Lake View and Lincoln Park then traveled around the loop via Michigan Ave, Jackson Blvd. State Street & Washington Street el stations and then returned to the starting point. The fare was ten cents and it required about one hour each way to make the trip. The best and least expensive method of sightseeing the city.' (postcard postmark: Aug 13 1928). 
Let's take a look at the vehicles used by this company.
Sheridan Rd. bus on Michigan Avenue
UIC photo - Jeff Davis via Historic Chicago-Facebook
1935 photo - Chuckman Collection 
Apparently, the north-side garage was located in the community of Ravenswood as of 1928
1928 Sanborn Fire Map
The Chicago Motor Coach Company was founded in 1917 by John D. Hertz who provided Chicago's first bus transportation services, primarily in places where streetcars were not able to travel. The company grew rapidly and was purchased by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in 1952. 
The Storm(s) of 1929
There were two major storms that year one in the spring and the other late Autumn. The storm in October destroyed the existing lakefront particularly the existing Lake Shore Drive and I am sure Lake View's Sheridan Road that was near the water's edge.
 




Name Change in 1931
Construction along the along the lakefront was also a concern adding my traffic congestion to the roadways as the article below indicates.
Building Congestion & Property Rights is a Issue in 1932



Traffic Jams by Belmont Avenue in 1934
A Traffic Resolution in 1935
Illinois Department of Transportation 
Mapping by Photography 1936-37
The 'IDOT' Mission:  'Automobile traffic has a very extensive body of literature involving simulation. Most people in the industrialized world deal with automobile traffic on a daily basis, and many studies are funded annually to alleviate existing or potential traffic problems. Several academic journals are dedicated exclusively to automobile traffic dynamics, new textbooks on the subject are published regularly, and the number of articles published each year dealing with automobile traffic number in the hundreds.'
The CARLI Digital Collections contain photographs from a state governmental agency called Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) dated 1936-38. During this time period LSD was to be extended and widened beyond Belmont Avenue to Foster Avenue. These photographs assisted IDOT planners assess the conditions of intersections for future development of not only North Lake Shore Drive but the northward expansion of Lincoln Park.
The Project Begins by 1936
 

Below are some intersections
 along Sheridan Road from IDOT
photos can be found at 'Explore Chicago Collection'
Sheridan Road was a major concern to IDOT due to its close proximity to the new Outer Lake Shore Drive with Sheridan Road near Belmont Harbor and the expansion northward to Foster Avenue before the WPA project of 1937-1941. 
 Sheridan Road & Broadway Avenue looking north.  
Notice the rails tracks with the cobblestones 
in the middle of the road. 
Sheridan Drive & Broadway Avenue view east
The terra cotta building on the right of the photo is the 
Isaac G. Ettleson Building that once housed the Hamilton State Bank. By 2017 the building was replaced.
Sheridan Road ends and (inner) LSD begins @ Belmont 
In 1931 this segment of the roadway was renamed from (inner) LSD from Belmont Avenue to Irving Park Road. The residents of the day needed better mailing address and probably the elite residents may have been trying to entice the planners of the proposed extension of North Lake Shore Drive to merge into Sheridan Road.

Sheridan Road & Briar Place - view north
The building on the right was a mansion I wrote about on my Facebook album page called Downton Abbey.
photo source - Art Institute of Chicago Digital Collection
The harbor to the left - opened to the public in 1913
the entry way to Lake View from Lincoln Park, the park
Sheridan Road & Diversey Parkway 
from the Park Lane Hotel
Note: Lincoln Park had a different configuration prior to the WPA project of the late 30's early 40's.
Sheridan Road looking at the once 18 hole golf course
Apparently, during the Great Depression of the 1930's this area (northwest corner of Diversey and Sheridan Road) was infamously known as a shanty-town with its 'tar paper shacks', a home-grown encampment for the homeless.
Sheridan Road & Surf Street - view north

Man crossing Sheridan Road & Irving Park Road separating the neighborhood of Lake View with the community of Buena Park, the neighborhood of Uptown. Notice the streetcar rails in the street that once dominated most of old Lake View.
notice the absence of a second roadway 
east of Sheridan Road
 Sheridan Road & Melrose Avenue 
view east and then north that begins to form a 
'folk-in-the-road' to Lake Shore Drive & Sheridan Road
Sheridan Road and Oakdale Avenue - view north
Sheridan Road and Oakdale Avenue - view southwest
Sheridan Road & Pine Grove with car 
traveling west on Sheridan Road
View from Sheffield Avenue when Sheridan Road 
turns north toward community of Buena Park
Sheridan Road & Fremont Avenue
Sheridan Road & view of Pine Grove north

Sheridan Road & Barry Avenue - view east
with a unique perspective of the area  
Sheridan Road & the then called Byron Place - view east 
and near the where that Lake View Hotel (1854-90ish) was once located. The old CTA shed space is now home of the Sheridan Triangle Gardens 
View west from the then called Bryon Place 
to Sheridan Road
Sheridan Road & Byron Place 
 (Byron Place was only a few yards of road)
Sheridan Road near Hawthorne Place - view north
Sheridan Road & Roscoe Street - view north 
3400 block of inner & outer Lake Shore Drive 
once known as Sheridan Road prior to 1931
Widening of Lake Shore Drive in 1938
I guess the city planners could have widen Lake Shore Drive to the west (Sheridan Road) but decide a landfill was better. 

Traffic in 1938



A Direct Connection to Diversey in 1940 

 the original Lake Shore Drive through the park was removed (left middle of photo). Most of the maranding drives within the park were replaced

 photo - Calumet412
In 1942 the Belmont Bridge Overpass was completed that helped end the congestion between the newly widen & lengthen Lake Shore Drive and Sheridan Road
photo - Connecting the Windy City
1927 photo - Chicago History Museum
postcard - Chuckman Collection
Snowed-on in 1944 - Ebay
1959 photos - Ebay
The Reason the Roadway turned West
an artist depiction
'Marine Hospital for Sailors and Soldiers'
This federal built hospital was built in 1875 in the Township of Lake View. The hospital was decommissioned by 1959.
1905 Sanborn Fire Map depicting the hospital very close to the lakefront at the time. Ships would dock off the lakefront to disembark the patients. The property was located on a bluff overlooking the lake. A pebble beach below the bluff existed.
A Narrative about the Turn to the West
In 1889 the question for the committee of 3 that were most affected by the northward expansion of Sheridan Road were three property owners who lived west of Clark Street. One of the committee members most affected was J.B. Waller
J.B. Waller was a strong proponent of the extension through his property no matter what direction it took. He was in real estate and envisioned parcel of property sold and dollars earned. His mansion was located just southeast of the present site of Mary of the Lake Catholic Church in Buena Park, Uptown according to Sanborn Fire Maps located below.
Waller's Property in 1894
His family's residence was known as the Buena House
 two sections of a whole map from the 1894 Sanborn Fire Map that not only show the extent of the property 
(apparently initially owned property to the existing lakefront) 
but also shows that Sheridan Road was in his family estate's backyard. To the west his estate was Graceland Cemetery.
If the route continued north along the lakefront the new extension would flank the Marine Hospital that northeast to this property - a 12 acre site along a bluff which was near J.B.’s property that was also near the same bluff. If the route was west of Pine Grove the route was still ok with JB because he owned that parcel of property having no beach property. The committee's mission was to extend a roadway along the lakefront as much as possible all the way to the townships of Rogers Park & Evanston. If the roadway routed west it would lose its ‘lake shore’ affect – views of the lake. By 1889 (the year of annexation) it was decided by all parties that new roadway would be routed west of the Marine Hospital due to medical remedy concerns of the day - cool breezes from the lake and no noise of traffic from the horseless carriages. So, the roadway would no longer be routed along the lakefront hence no longer could be referred to as the future extension of North Lake-Shore Drive. So, the committee voted, after the General Sheridan's death in 1888, that the new roadway should be called Sheridan Road, after the former federally appointed commander of Chicago after the Fire of 1871. A month later of the same year the both chambers of the Illinois state government approved the request to change the name to Sheridan Road. By March of 1889 and after discussion with the committee of 3 the question was now where to route this roadway west of the federal hospital. The decision was to begin construction of Sheridan Road at Belmont Avenue to Graceland (Irving Park Road) and then route west & then north with two options -north on Clarendon or Sheffield Avenues. It is important to note that Lake View Avenue extended north of Diversey Parkway to Belmont & that at the intersection of Lake View Avenue & Belmont were a few feet away from the lake itself. 
1894 Sanborn Fire Map edited
So, it was decided that Sheffield was the most likely choice because it lined up directly geographically north to Devon Avenue (old township/city border) and next to the adjacent to the lakefront once again. The Clarendon route would again flank Marine Hospital but on the west not the east as the original February plan. Either way east or west this plan would have had produced endless red-tape with the Feds in D.C. As a further note, Sheffield Avenue ends where Sheridan Road turns northward again. 
A Private Property Issue
There were continuous property issues concerning the extension of the road northward particularly through townships of Rogers Park and Evanston and beyond the Wisconsin border. One of those interesting property issues was where Lake View (township/City and neighborhood) got its name, the Hundley-Ree owned Lake View House/Hotel on the corner of Grace Street west of Pine Grove near the existing lakefront. Elisha Hundley owned in the community of Pine Grove in Lake View from Grace Street to Cornelia, the lakefront to Broadway (former Evanston Avenue) by 1874.
The area in 1894
 Sanborn Fire Maps sectionals - edit 1894
 Sanborn Fire Maps sectionals - edit 1894
When Elisha died in the in 1874? a court battle began that lasted nine years between property owners who claimed to have bought several parcels of property from his heirs or property agents by the use of quitclaims. This court battle finally reached the Illinois Supreme Court in 1892. The final court decision by this time involved private property ownership vs Hundley’s willed intention for a particular strip of land along the lakefront to be used for parkland even though Elisha and his hotel staff & vendors used the strip of land as an unmarked access road to the hotel. The Illinois Supreme Court decided that the strip of land along the entire lakefront from Addison to Bryon Street was 'public land' and not private parkland. The City of Chicago and more importantly the North Shore Improvement Association won access to this strip of land so to continue to construct Sheridan Road from Addison Street and beyond. Sheridan Road to Milwaukee Wisconsin was completed by 1916. In other words, the plan and construction would take some 30 years to complete with all its’ twist and turns in northern Illinois and beyond the Wisconsin border to the capital of Milwaukee. The first 'twist & turn' began in Lake View.

Post Notes
View my post on Lake Shore Drive with further information of the convergence of Sheridan Road with Lake Shore Drive in Lake View. Also, visit my post about the other main streets of our neighborhood.


Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!
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