June 15, 2015

The Namesake Hotel

The Resort on a Bluff with a View
Hotel Lake View - photo 1860's?
Operated between July 4, 1854-1890ish
According the 1990 Chicago Daily News article the hotel was also referred to as the Lake View House.
photo - Art Institute of Chicago
several additions were constructed
Hotel Lake View - 1880's along Grace Street 
with additional buildings added to the hotel
This jpeg image from the publication called Lake View Saga (1847-1985)  indicates property was purchased for investment that would later become a hotel.
This 'Chicago escape' resort of sorts was erected in 1854 by real estate and surveyor James Rees and mega-landowner Elisha H. Hundley. Legendary library founder and visitor Walter Newberry coined the lodge as 'The Lake View' . James Rees began investing in the township lakefront in 1852 subdividing his 225 parcels of property to Chicagoans.
Visitor Walter Newberry
who legendarily coined the old Huntley House
Mr. Newberry stated that that this 'watering hole'  had a unencumbered view of the lake and the lodge should be called ‘The Lake View House’ due to its unique location near the lakefront. Apparently, the lakefront area was between Grace Street and the area just north of Irving Park Road along a cliff. According to legend the name of Lake View caught-on and the community of Lake View was coined and later in 1857 a township established. Both Mr. Ree and Hundley used their building to attract visiting land speculators and wealthy Chicagoans escaping for the social and legal restraints of city life. The building was demolished by early 1890’s if not that year.

 This is a 1869 map of the subdivision of Pine Grove and location of the namesake of the township that was owned by James Rees and Elisha Hundley. The Lake View House (tavern,resort,hotel) was located near the lakefront between Grace and Byron Avenues a 'stone throw' from the lakefront. 
The article below indicates an investment in Lake View by surveyor James Rees and his friend Elisha Hundley in a subdivision called Pine Grove - today LakeView East
1866 illustrated view
Chicago and Midwest Collection-Newberry Library
Apparently, this is a view looking south from roughly where Inner Lake Shore Drive and Grace intersect as of 1867 and probably drawn from the Lake View Hotel.
The Route to the Lake View Hotel
  Quoted testimony from the first publication called 
Lake View Saga 1857-1974
About the Building: the legend
Lake View Saga 1857-1985, the second publication 
The neighborhood changed a little ...
Years earlier a roadway was constructed in front of the apparently now razed Huntley House-Lake View Hotel to be named Sheridan Road by 1898. It was initially designed for the extension of North-Lake Shore Drive but after General Sheridan death in mid-1890's the City of Chicago renamed this roadway in his honor for services rendered after the Chicago Fire of 1871. This roadway would later connect
Fort Sheridan to the City of Chicago by the first quarter of the 20th century. By the end of the century the old fort would become Town of Fort Sheridan.

photo - Sulzer Regional Library 1898
A view of the Sheridan Road along the lakefront
The hotel was located at this location prior to 1890. The building appear to be located on lot #1 in this 1887 map
This roadway along the lakefront was to be originally called North-Lake Shore Drive but was renamed Sheridan Road for a couple of reasons.
Grace and Sheridan Road postcard 1910's
The old hotel would have been located just west and 
out-of-frame of this image ... 20 years earlier. This segment of this roadway was renamed Lake Shore Drive in 1931.

Post Note: 
In 2016 I have proposed to the Chicago Landmark Commission a historical area, a garden space 
(Sheridan Triangle Garden) that would officially mark the location (along Grace Street between Pine Grove & inner Lake Shore Drive) of the hotel that helped give Lake View its name first as a township/city and then later finally a 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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