May 06, 2011

Renamed Sheridan Road

In the General's Name
related to another post called 
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, to Diversey Boulevard (Parkway). 
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 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... North-Lake Shore Drive was not only to be renamed but expanded beyond Highland Park but to Milwaukee Wisconsin. 
The Sheridan Road Story
(click to enlarge any article/image)
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
I wish to give my readers an idea of what the lakefront looked like before major development along the existing shoreline at the turn of the 20th century. 
   Now down the road a peg was this large boulder ....
This 1901 article tells a tale of a landmark along the water's edge that no one could explain completely:
Parker R. Mason's Rock
Mr. Parker R. Mason apparently had a interesting history and lived like a hermit because his complicity in a criminal act in 1877. The article below tells that tale. Other stories indicate he was a chemist of sorts who would always tinkered with new inventions that may have been interpreted by his neighbors as 'voodoo science'.
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 by 1898.
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 waters' edge from Belmont Avenue to just north of Grace Street til probably the storm of 1929. 
 Sheridan Road near Grace 1912
photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
 Sheridan Road view north to northwest 1912
Ice Cream shack is visible - Daily News Archives
This 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 - Lincoln Park Commission. 
Plans for the Park Northward 1891 
with the original location of the monument 
at North Avenue
U.S. General Sheridan once coordinated military relief efforts in Chicago following the Great Chicago Fire. Its' name would also highlight the fact that this road would link the federally administrative Fort Sheridan with central Chicago. After the Haymarket Riot scare of 1886 this roadway would be used to funnel federal troops to Chicago so to end any other labor strike scares as well as provide a scenic walk/drive along the lakefront within the the new District of Lake View that was annexed to City of Chicago by the voters of City of Lake View in 1889.
The General & his Namesakes
General Philip Henry Sheridan who 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 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 of military rule to relieve General Sheridan of his duties hence returning local authority to Mayor of Chicago and the Governor of Illinois. 
Postcard indicates 300 miles of road 
- CowCard via Max Rigot Selling Company
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 
- Daily News Archives
Caravan of supplies? probably on Sheridan Road from the the fort 1927 - Daily News Archives
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 
Sheridan Road would linked with Fort Sheridan in the 
community of Highwood by 1888 through the Township of Lake View. During this time period the US army would use this roadway and existing rail transportation to suppress 'worker protest' in Chicago, particularly during the
Pullman Strike of 1894. The roadway was planned after the Haymarket Riots of 1886.
 Fort Sheridan -1904
The Water Tower Barracks
In 1894 it was proposed that the renamed road, Sheridan Road should be extended to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Construction of this extended road was completed by 1916 A statue of General Sheridan by artist Gutzon Borglum was placed alongside Sheridan Road in an island area north of Belmont Avenue in 1924. In 1993 Fort Sheridan was closed to be converted to 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. 
1892 University of Chicago Collection Rand McNally map shows Lake View Avenue as a link to Belmont Avenue and the newly named road called Sheridan Road.
1892 University of Chicago Collection-Rand McNally map shows Sheridan Road ending at Bryon Street. 
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 two images above show the 'broadwalk' 
The boardwalk was lined with benches and iron chain-link fence. Once again, I would like to know what that massive building was on the west side of the road?? 
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 estate.
The following Daily News articles tell a tale of the evolution of the original North-Shore Drive through Lake View Township beginning in 1871   
Meeting of the Minds 1871
originally called North-Lake Shore Drive
From the Park to Lake View Hotel 1872
 column 1
 column 2
The line is drawn along the shoreline
north of the park, Lincoln Park 1874
 Permission Granted by 
the Township of Lake View 
from Lake View Avenue to Devon 1875
Opening Day 1875 December
The Year of the HayMarket 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 the 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) and then apparently was sold by his heirs to non-family investors who did not have a deed. The other issue was claims that Mr. Huntley deeded the lakefront property as 'public land' and not the 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 this time.
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 
North-Lake Shore Drive by a Citizen of Chicago
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 1900
1905  The first Chicago Marathon begins in Evanston Golf Course and ends in Washington Park using the "unpaved Sheridan Road" to do it. 
1925 According to a Chicago Daily News article below the new Belmont Yacht Harbor was landfilled/created and then opened to the public as of 1913. The advertisement insert below shows landfill of Lincoln Park, the park @ the harbor along the then segment of the roadway called Sheridan Road until it was renamed again by the city to Lake Shore Drive in 1931 or as it is referred Inner Lake Shore Drive to the locals.
image - Ebay
view of Sheridan Road south near Belmont Yacht Harbor
photo - Chicago History in Postcards
The worlds longest and scenic roadway
- struggles and near completion 1912

This Chicago Daily News article tells a tale of 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.
Homes along the Road
Sheridan Road meets Pine Grove 1910 
photo - Ebay
1913 postcard - Ebay
The road at Waukegan
This article is a colorful commentary about the improvement of Sheridan Road. The entire roadway was completed that year from 
Diversey Parkway to Milwaukee
 (click to enlarge)
Skyscrapers begin to rise on Sheridan Road during the 20's
(post 1932 address is 3740 inner LSD)
The Sheridan Monument @ Belmont Avenue
              Plan began in 1907 and 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
1907 Plans
A 1924 article ...
A proposed plan for both Sheridan Road and the planned expansion of Lake Shore Drive 1928
 A Street Name Change @ 3900 North 1928
1930ish - Calumet412
segment of the drive south of the park along the lagoons
A segment of Sheridan Road was re-named to 
(inner) Lake Shore Drive 1931
seven years before the construction of the 
Belmont Overpass Bridge 1934
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. 
Illinois Department of Transportation 
Mapping by Photography
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.
Below are some intersections
 along Sheridan Road from IDOT
photos can be found 'Explore Chicago Collection'
Sheridan Road was a major concern to IDOT due to its close proximity to the 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 and Broadway Avenue looking north from Sheridan. Notice the rails for the tracks with the cobble stones in the middle of the road. 
Sheridan Drive and Broadway Avenue viewing east
Note: The terra cotta building on the right of the photo is the 
Isaac G. Ettleson Building that once housed the Hamilton State Bank. Below is a closer view of the ornate design of the frieze portion of the building.
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 and Briar Place - view north
The building on the right was a mansion I wrote about on my Facebook page (LakeView Historical) called Downton Abbey.
photo source - Art Institute of Chicago Digital Collection
photo - Chicago Park District Collection - unknown date
Sheridan Road and Byron Place 
 (Byron Place was only a few yards of road)
the entry way to Lake View
Sheridan Road and 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', an home-grown encampment for the unemployed.
Sheridan Road and Surf Street

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.
 Sheridan Road and Melrose Avenue 
view east and then north that begins to form a 
'folk-in-the-road' to Lake Shore Drive and Sheridan Road
Sheridan Road and Oakdale Avenue - view north
Sheridan Road and Oakdale Avenue - view southwest
Sheridan Road and Pine Grove with car 
traveling west on Sheridan Road
View north for Sheffield Avenue when Sheridan Road 
turns north toward community of Buena Park
Sheridan Road and Fremont Avenue
Sheridan Road and Pine Grove north

Sheridan Road and Barry Avenue - view east
with a unique perspective of the area  
Sheridan Road and 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 
Sheridan Road and Hawthorne Place - view north
The building beyond the trees (center left) was the residence-mansion of Edith Behr, the daughter of E.J. Lehmann - owner the The Fair Department Store.  Old man Lehmann died in 1900 and with an estate worth over 6 million dollars. Mrs. Behr and her husband used a portion of her inheritance to build their home Sheridan Road and Stratford Place in 1912. The mansion survived until the late 1960's or early 70's. 
A visitor can still view the stately metal & cement gates that surround the property that still have a mailing address
of 505 Stratford Place used today as a parking lot. 
Sheridan Road and Roscoe Street - view north 
3400 inner Lake Shore Drive 
once known as Sheridan Road prior to 1931
 Images of a General's Monument
Snowed-on in 1944 - Ebay
General Sheridan Monument 1959 - Ebay
A McCormick Connection
According to 3300 Lake Shore Condo Association website
"it was customary for South Side families to come to Lake View (19th century) by carriage or steamboat from Kenwood, Hyde Park and Prairie Avenue to spend the summer on what was then commonly referred to (then) as Chicago's North Shore. Cool breezes off the lake, along with golf links, bridle paths, yacht, canoe and gun clubs all offered relief and amusement."
One of those visitors from Chicago were Harold and Edith McCormick, the son and daughter-in-law of Cyrus McCormick who was the inventor of the horse-drawn mechanical wheat-reaper in 1831. 
Harold and Edith inherited a greenhouse from Cyrus and it's surrounding property located on the block of 3300 Lake Shore Drive (known at that time as Sheridan Road prior to 1931). By 1927, widowed Edith, re-developed the property and replaced the greenhouse with a Beaux Arts unit high-rise known today as 3300 Lake Shore Drive. 
The greenhouse along the then North Lake Shore Drive
- Daily News Archives - date unknown 
An In-depth History of Sheridan Road: 
The Military Roadway
On May 4, 1886, in what came to be known as the Haymarket riot, a bomb exploded in Haymarket Square, at Randolph and Desplaines Streets just west of downtown, during a rally for an eight-hour workday. A Methodist lay minister was making a speech atop a wooden wagon to a dwindling crowd of about 200 labor protesters when someone hurled a bomb. At least one police officer died from injuries suffered in the bomb blast, and seven more died later, possibly from wounds caused by "friendly fire" in the ensuing melee. Police had opened fire on the crowd, killing four workers and wounding many more. The bombing came a day after two workmen were killed while protesting, and three days after 80,000 protesters marched down Michigan Avenue to advocate for a shorter workday.’
The Federal Marine Hospital 
an artist depiction
A plan was set in motion on June 13th 1886 on the extension of Lake-Shore Drive (Sheridan Road) north of Belmont Avenue beyond Lake View Avenue and Lincoln Park, the park - that was at the time, yards away from the lake to Graceland Avenue (Irving Park Road) through the Township of Lake View to Fort Sheridan. A committee later to be called the North Shore Improvement Association that was charged by the State of Illinois and worked closely with the Lincoln Park Board of Commissioners who governed the new park along the lake, to plan the extension of the Drive north of Lincoln Park-the park that included a military general named Stockton and two major property owners of the community of Lake View a Mr. S.B. Chase and in the community of Buena Park Mr. James B. Waller. The task committee of 3 was to consult with property owners on the expansion of the drive through their property. J.B. Waller, a long term member, owned 35 acres of property north of Graceland Avenue that included a bluff along the lakefront high enough that overlooked a pebbled beach below and ridge high enough to see a small harbor adjacent to U.S. federal hospital called Marine located a few blocks north of Graceland (Irving Park Road) Avenue. The committee of 3 along with the property owners had gathered repeatedly to discuss the direction of the new Drive from Belmont Avenue in particularly beyond Graceland Avenue.
1905 Sanborn Fire Map depicting the hospital very close to the lakefront at the time
Sheridan Road Along the Lake Front
In 1889 the question for the committee of 3 that effected property owners west of Clark Street was whether the Drive should continue north along the lakefront or west along Graceland to Pine Grove Avenue. J.B. Waller was a strong proponent of the extension through his property no matter what direction it took (His mansion was located at the present site of Mary of the Lake Catholic Church). If the route continued north along the lakefront the new extension would flank the Marine Hospital - 12 acre site along the bluff which was near J.B.’s  property. If the route was west to Pine Grove the route was still ok with JB because he owned that parcel of property. Their mission was to extend the Drive along the lakefront as much as possible all the way to the townships of Rogers Park and Evanston and beyond. If the Drive routed west it would lose its ‘lake shore’ affect – views of the lake. As a side-note, the Township officials of Lake View in 1871 were planning an extension northward at Diversey Boulevard and Clark Street.
By 1889 it was decided by all parties that new Drive would be routed west at Graceland Avenue (it finally was at Byron Street) so the Drive would no longer be routed along the lakefront hence no longer could be referred to as North Lake-Shore Drive. So, the committee voted and passed a resolution that the new ‘drive’ should be called Sheridan Road after General Sheridan, the former supply relief commander of Chicago after the Fire of 1871. The general had died a year before. 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. Construction at Belmont Avenue could begin that year. 
In March of same year of 1889 and after discussion with the committee of 3 and the effected property owners the route options had changed again.  This time with the decision to begin construction of Sheridan Road at Belmont Avenue to Graceland and then route west and then north with two options north on Clarendon or Sheffield Avenues. It is important to envision that Lake View Avenue extended north of Diversey Parkway to Belmont and that at the intersection of Lake View Avenue and Belmont were feet away from the lake itself. So, it was decided that Sheffield was the most likely choice because it lined up directly north to Devon Avenue (old township border) and again next 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 would have.
Then the Roadway Turned Westward
As the researcher and writer of this little piece of history I contend that the route west on Bryon Street (not Graceland Avenue) and the route north of Sheffield – to be renamed Sheridan Road at this segment of the route north, was to due completely to avoid Marine Hospital. After reading several articles about the hospital it seemed the hospital location was originally chosen of its tranquility and it’s adherence to non-public noise. With the bluff and pebbled crescent beach below and unmasked views of the lake a busy new road on either side would have interrupted the convalescence environment of the hospital. I contend Byron Street was chosen and not Graceland for the same reason – too close to the hospital. Beside according to the articles read from the Chicago Daily Tribune Archives via Chicago Public Library, the construction or re-construction of either route east or west of the hospital would have required Congressional or federal approval a most often tedious and lengthy process.
A Sample of Private Property Issues 
There were continuous property issues concerning the extension of the road north particularly through townships of Rogers Park and Evanston and beyond the Wisconsin border. One of those interesting property issues was where Lake View (township and neighborhood) got its name, the Hundley-Ree owned  ‘Lake View Hotel–Tavern’ on the corner of Grace Street and the then lakefront. Elisha Hundley owned most of northern East LakeView from Addison to Bryon Street, the lakefront to Broadway (former Evanston) Avenue by 1874. 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 quit claims. This local 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 (300 feet) to be used for parkland even though Elisha and his hotel staff and vendors used the strip of land as an unmarked access road. The Supreme Court decided that the strip of land along the entire lakefront from Addison to Bryon Street was 'public land' but not private parkland. The City of Chicago and more importantly the North Shore Improvement Association won access to continue to construct Sheridan Road from Addison Street and beyond.Sheridan Road to Milwaukee was not completed until 1916. In other words, the plan and construction would take some 30 years to complete its’ twist and turns in Illinois and beyond the Wisconsin border to Milwaukee.
A photo advertisement of the Belmont Bridge Overpass  
The Overpass was completed by 1942 - it was the last construction link that connected the north 
and south sections of the Outer Drive. 
History in Review 1990
should be 'traveled at 91'
(click to enlarge)

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