May 06, 2011

The Inner/Outer Drive

A historical account on how the two drives 
nearly blend together in Lake View
and may blend in the future
This is a story of Inner and Outer Drives within the Township/City, District, and Community of Lake View. By the 1870's a thought of a roadway along the lakefront was still a dream by City of Chicago and the Township of Lake View, a dream that became a reality by the mid 1890's both north and south of Lincoln Park, the park. 
Within the next two centuries the roadway would change in name, adminstration, and design.
1924 negative - Chicago History Museum
The Roadway along the Lakeshore
 text from 'Lincoln Park 1899'
(59th street=Foster Avenue)
Before the 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 from upper floor of the Lake View Hotel  
some other views below along the lakeshore
postcards - Ebay 
Van Vechtem 1870 Map
of Lake View Township
The same geographic area would remain the same when the township became a city and even after the annexation to a District of Chicago until the establishment of designated communities by 1930. While the direct goverance of (8) townships within Chicago have been removed by City of Chicago Council the property assessment of within each of the eight townships have not to this day.
Map & Article Views
of then Lake-Shore Drive:
all these maps have been zoomed and edited
(David Rumsey Map Collection)
Fullerton Avenue was the border between the City of Chicago and the Township of Lake View. Lincoln Park was squarely inside the City of Chicago and amenites paid for by the Township of North Chicago. Once the park expanded north of Fullerton Avenue the bond-holders and property owners of Lake View Township shared the financial responsibility with the Township of North Chicago which in essence the northern section of Chicago. 
(University of Chicago Library)
This 1870 Van Vechten map shows the Lake-Shore Drive from
 Oak Street to the park but no further. The park is now north of Fullerton Avenue and financial responsibility of the two townships, North Chicago & Lake View. Lake-Shore Drive is labeled as a boulevardin this map.
zoomed view below
Lake Shore Drive Open
in 1875
to the park only
In 1887 the status of Lake View changed from a township form of government to a city in Illinois. In 1889 the citizens of the City of Lake View was annexed to the City of Chicago. Ther was no change on the size or roadway pathways of the park.
(University of Chicago Library)
The entrance to the park from the south to the north is Lake-Shore Drive and the exist of the park is Lake View Avenue to Belmont Avenue. This section of Lake View Avenue would later be named Sheridan Road by the end of 1890's
After the annexation of the City of Lake View in 1889 the same geographical area was known as the District of Lake View until the formation of permanent communities by 1930. According to this map below the first attempt of the establishement of an Outer Drive is shown and was called New Breakwater Carriage Drive and Sidewalk that feed into Belmont & Lake View avenues.
The 'Drive' Attempt
through the Park
1873 map
 from Chicago Lake Shore Drive 
by Neal Simors & Bernard Judge
The zoomed views below indicated a roadway along the lakefront 
in the park called Lake Shore Drive
Planning Continues
in 1899
The Commission Report of
1899
this book is part of my collection
text below - 'Lincoln Park 1899'
Discussion of the 
Expansion in 1904
Diversey and Belmont harbors were formulated by this time. Lincoln Park, the park only reached to Cornelia Avenue. Both harbors looked more like large lagoons then actually harbors. Sheridan Road is shown north of Belmont Avenue as the first newly named roadway along the lakeshore. Sheridan Road was named after the American Civil War general, president of the United States, and marshall law commander after the Chicago Fire of 1871 Philip H. Sheridan
The color green in the map below indicated Sheridan Road, cemeteries, proposed harbors and Lincoln Park, the park.
zoomed views below
would open to the public by 1916
Sheridan Road was routed west to Sheffield Avenue and was turned north from Sheffield Avenue. The roadway took a turn west to avoid federal property - Marine Hospital that was located on the lakefront just north of Bitter Sweet Place so to avoid all the redtape that would have involved between govenmental entities. More on the story later.
The Governance for the Expansion 
of Lincoln Park, the park 
& Lake Shore Drive
The expansion of Lake Shore Drive was under 
the privy of this commission. Its authority would wane in time.
Who Pays for the Improvements/Expansion
of the park and Sheridan Road
The Reason 
for the Roadway 
a link from Fort Sheridan to Chicago
postcard - Ebay
The Year of the Hay Market Riots and 
the Plans for the Drive in 1886 
The Pullman Strike of 1894 added fuel for the continuation of the roadway along the shoreline to later renamed after General Sheridan as a reminder to strikers of the connection of the roadway to the federal troops at Fort Sheridan. The general was still remembered as the commander of Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871 and of course the commanding general who won the American Civil War. 
The photo below is from Harper's Weekly
Why the Roadway 
turned West to Sheffield
and then North Again
an artist depiction of the hospital
This federal built hospital was constructed in 1875 in the Township of Lake View. This federally administered hospital 
was decommissioned by late 1950's
This 1905 Sanborn Fire Map depicts the hospital very close to the existing lakefront at that time. The property was located on a bluff overlooking the lake with a pebble beach below. Ships would dock off the lakefront to disembark the patients. 
My guess is that a road separating their dock from the rest of the hospital would have been complicated. Also, the initial reason for the location was the open fresh air breezes from the lake and the complete quiet the area provided which was part of the rehabilitation requirements of any hospital at that time period. The red-tape from Washington would have been a nightmare. So, it was decided to use Sheffield Avenue north of what was called then Byron Street be used for Sheridan Road traffic. 
edited with some current views
 via Newberry Library

 a zoomed view of within Lake View
Heading from Stockton to 
Sheridan Road at Diversey Avenue (Parkway)
That 'Red Brick House'
photo - Johnny Conlisk via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
In 1885, a wealthy banker named Rudolf Schloesser 
& his wife Amelia built this grand home. 

a 2018 Google view
Heading west on Sheridan Road
1903 photo- Chicago History Musuem
Heading west to south on Sheridan Road
a 2020 Google view below

Heading north on Sheridan Road 
(corner of Sheridan and Sheridan)
Dakin Street is straight ahead and Sheffield Avenue
is the the right of the photograph
a 2018 Google view
2021 Google view above
2021 view of the street signs below
On the return trip back to Lincoln Park, the park, 
from Sheridan Road to Stockton
a 2018 Google view below
The Boardwalk 
along Sheridan Road
*Diversey to Grace Street*
This section of the road was to be renamed Lake Shore Drive in 1931 and to be referred to as the inner drive
The Broadwalk at Grace Street and Sheridan Road
postcard - Chuckman Collection 1910 or earlier

The boardwalk near Grace Street along Sheridan Road
1915 photo - Chicago History Museum
Plan Extension of the Roadway to 
Wisconsin in 1912
1923 Map
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
(Chicago Public Library)
a noticable label blending of the Outer and Inner Drives
zoomed views below
north of map vs
south of map
Photos of 
Sheridan Road 
from the 1920's
photos are part of my collection
traffic moving north and south on Sheridan Road
zoomed view below of the traffic
General Sheridan Honor
in 1927
snips from a video
Traffic Clog
in 1928
due to the close approximately of the two drives

An Overpass 
at Grace Street in 1928
Reclaiming the Name 
in 1931
to be later referred to as Inner Drive
The Fork-in-the-Road
by 1932
page part of my collection
zoomed view below
view north with traffic moving either to the Outer Drive on the right or Inner Drive on the left of the photo
Traffic Alignment 
at Melrose & Sheridan Road
in 1935
view south
this press photo is part of my collection
zoomed further below
The Fins in the Road
press photos - part of my collection
by Chicago Motor Coach Company
photo - Chuckman Collection
1940 map of all the routes in Chicago
map - American Negro Exposition via Man on Five
zoomed view of our area below


both postcards - Chuckman Collection
photos - from CardCow
The back of the above postcards read the following:
Double Deck Motor Bus Company
'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.' 
The WPA Project
1936-1942
This federal funded program of widening and extending 
Lake Shore Drive occurred during the Great Depression of 1929. More lanes were added while Sheridan Road would remain a two lane roadway to be later separated only by a fenced median strip
photo below - Art Institute of Chicago Digital Collection
In 1938 Traffic Routes
during Construction
Almost Done!
a good summation
The Last Piece
These last two photos show construction prepping for the construction of the Belmont Overpass Bridge. These photos, once negatives, were purchased from Ebay is part of my collection
the views are south showing the second clubhouse to the left
The Final Product
photo - Calumet412
unknown date
Illinois Department of Transportation 
photos 1936-1937
This was a governmental photo survey of the Sheridan Road and the exists to both inner and outer drives so to assess the conditions of both roadways for the widening of the outer drive in Lake View as well as other areas along the lakefront as far north as Foster Avenue.
These photos were taken by the Illinios Department of Transportation - IDOT and sourced from University of Chicago - UIC via Explore Chicago Collection
Grace Street view north showing both inner 
and outer drives during construction period
These two photos are telling  multi-deminsional. It shows landfill towards the lake and an indication that Sheridan Road/inner drive, that was also landfilled 180 feet west into the lake in the late 19th century, was at this parrticular location on a bluff overlooking the lake prior to the 20th century.It is also the former location of the Lake View Hotel first established in 1854.
These two photos show what was called Byron Place feeding into Sheridan Road. Byron Place now part of Sheridar Road West helps form an island around what is called today 
The shed is still in used for garden supplies
Traffic headng north and south from Byron Place 
- the view is south on Sheridan Road
the below photo is of Stratford Place that feeds from Sheridan Road - its a one-way west. I lived on this short roadway for 24 years. 
Notice the narrow median strip in what currently separates inner from outer drives. The WPA project would landfill another road lane for the outer drive from the lake. 
These next couple of photos are from the Melrose/Sheridan Road area. The photo below shows traffic heading north after it recieved a light signal to proceed to the outer drive. The inner drive is on the left of the photo along with Melrose Avenue.
The photo below shows traffic heading southwest toward the 
outer drive to the right and traffic heading 
south along Sheridan Road to the left
This photo shows how traffic flowed near the folk-in-the-road that separated the inner and outer drives, The view is south with the 
Stout Mansion in the background
The photo below shows the inner and outer drive - view north showing Belmont Harbor to the right and the Lochby Apartments
 to the left
The photo below shows the opposite direction south from the above photo. This photo shows the Sheridan Monunent toward the center of the photo and the lack of the Belmont Bridge Overpass. The land mass to the left of the photo would be reduced for the extra lane. The Belmont Bridge would be last piece of construction 
to be open to traffic by 1942
Rush Hour Traffic
in 1947
all outer drive traffic is heading north 
while the inner drive remains normal
Chicago Tribune Archives via Larry Lund contributor 
to Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
Art Work 
by Zabeth Selover via Esty
a north view of both drives
the home at the bottom is the old Lehmann residence 
on Waveland & inner LSD and at the time of this artist rendition 
the building was called The Waveland Convalescent Home
3662 N Lake Shore Drive
sectionals:
cars appear to be late 50's or early 1960's

The Outer Drive at 
Irving Park Road
north view
Description from this postcard reads:
'A bird's-eye view of Lincoln Park extension recently beautified by the Chicago Park District. The Outer Drive passes through here with frequent turn-outs leading to the beautiful Waveland golf course, Montrose Yacht Harbor, and great Montrose - Wilson bathing beach.' - from Card Cow
a 1966 Press Photo View South
part of my collection
this photo shows the remains the Nike Missile Sight of the 1950's to the left of the photo
zoomed and turned below
a 1969 View North
photo - Chicago History Museum
A newer look to the Outer Drive
a 2013-2023 Design Timeline
This idea is based on the need to create more city assets. While the NLSD project redesigns the Drive on existing land the BSC creates more land to the east of the existing roadway into the lake once again as it did in the early 20th century - creating 225 acres of prime real estate. 
It has been done before but can we do it again?
This proposed project involves improvement of seven miles of the 8-lanes of North Lake Shore Drive from Grand Avenue to Hollywood Avenue, including the 12 highway junctions. The junctions are those locations where major cross streets intersect Lake Shore Drive & where access is allowed through the Outer Drive. The project  will continue to evaluate the condition of the 22 bridges and tunnels along the Outer Drive as well as the operation of the Inner Drive.
The Public Meeting Phase
all  2014 photos - Lake View Patch





The Plan for our Area
of the Lakefront as of 2021
here are some snips for the video 
link above
Plan A centers on elevatinging traffic on Belmont Avenue and sharing with Aldine Avenue. Aldine will be on one-way street east and will have a separater on the inner drive so help with traffic flow
Plan B will most elevated the bus congetion on Belmont
Plan C adds both A & B
the harbor will have less water, and more green space between the inner and outer drive
The green space comparision
between the inner and outer drives
more input meeting planned
Feedback all the time
The Complete Plan
by our local paper
Do We Really Need It??

“We take the most precious piece of property in the city and devote it to eight lanes of automotive traffic,” organizer Michael Burton told the Reader. “Wouldn’t it make more sense to have it devoted to parkland? Wouldn’t that increase the value of adjacent property? Wouldn’t that make the city more livable? Aren’t we always looking for ways to scale back pollution?” At the time, the cyclists were regarded as pastoralist cranks, using aesthetic and environmentalist arguments to promote an agenda that would inconvenience hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans. The group has since disappeared from the public discourse, its website and phone number gone dead. But maybe they weren’t all that crazy. Today, Lake Shore Drive is under attack by Lake Michigan, which this year rose to a level approaching its all-time high. It may rise even higher next year. Just last week, flash flooding closed the Drive for several hours between Montrose and Hollywood. - Chicago Magazine: Politics & City Life 2019

Renaming the 
Outer Drive in 2020? 
photo - Chicago Sun-Times
2020
Transportation Committee 
Say Yay in 2021
watch all videos
It's Official - DuSable
June 25, 2021
(Inner) Lake Shore Drive 
NO Change in the Name
A NO vote from 
Lake View's 44th Alderman

Several Post Notes:

The Several Names 
of the Outer Drive by 1946
Outer Drive Options 
in 2022


More news in the coming years!

Post Note:
The General's Monument
in Pictures
photo - Connecting the Windy City
1927 photo - Chicago History Museum
postcard - Chuckman Collection
Snowed-on in 1944 - Ebay
1959 photos - Ebay

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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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