June 15, 2011

Street-End Beaches/Area Harbors & Doggie Beach

At the End of the Street a Beach
in District of Lake View 
from Devon Avenue to 
Fullerton Avenue after the annexation of the City of Lake View in 1889 was referred to as the District of Lake View until the creation of the 75 official communities by 1930

The City of Chicago opened its first public bathing beach in 1895 in Lincoln Park primarily as a response to the efforts of the 'Free Bath and Sanitary League' (formerly the Municipal Order League). One element of the campaign involved persuading the city and state governments to designate certain spaces as beaches for public use. The second element involved ensuring that the city would clean up and maintain these beaches so that city residents could actually enjoy the benefit of access to clean water. While the primary motivation of middle-class reformers in opening the bathing beaches was to improve the health and sanitary habits of the working class, the campaign also demanded that city dwellers have recreational use of the lake. By the mid 1930’s the City of Chicago had reclaimed the land on which many of the private beaches operated. Montrose was the last harbor constructed in the northside. The most popular muncipal beach was located along Clarendon Avenue south of Montrose. That beachhead and its amenties was established in 1916.

1905 poster - with article from Chicago Detours
1919 photo below - Benjamin Yolarski‎ via
'Chicagoland Before We Were Born'-Facebook
From Beach to a Harbor
Sulzer Road (Montrose Avenue) 
Beach in 1887
photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection, 
Sulzer Regional Library via Explore Chicago Collection
To a Harbor 
by mid 1930's
via William Russ/Forgotten Chicago Discussion Group
The Shoreline Maps
1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
before Sheridan Road & Lake Shore Drive 
Many of the major streets ended at the lake with a beach
such as Belmont Avenue and (Addison Street - before a tide).
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
Belmont Yacht Harbor was open to the public by 1913 but still had its street-end beach until the widening and lengthening of 
Lake Shore Drive by the late 1930's
Prior to the annexation of City of Lake View in 1889 Fullerton Avenue was the border between the City of Chicago and the 
City of Lake View. The taxing authority that paid for land along the lakefront north of Fullerton Avenue was still property taxpayers of the Township of Lake View. And to complex this narrative any further the State of Illinois sanctioned Lincoln Park Board of Commissioners administered the expansion of the park, the roadways along the lake and park, and street-end beaches, and the construction of the northside harbors that slower replaced the beaches due to the widening of N Lake Shore Drive by the mid 1930's. The Lake View Township taxing authority still exists today as well as the Lincoln Park Board of Commissioners - now a token agency within the City of Chicago.
I have another post just about the relationship between the park, Lincoln Park and old Lake View and the property taxpayers of old Lake View who paid for the park's initial amenities when the park expanded north of Fullerton Avenue by 1870.
View of the then 
Existing Lakefront 
The Most Popular Street-End 
Beaches are Joined Together:
 A Bathing Beach Planned 
in 1896
between Fullerton Avenue
and Diversey Parkway
Fullerton Avenue Beach 
in 1898
before modern amenties were awarded 
by the City of Chicago and the property taxpayers of the 
Township of Lake View

The Logic 
for the Free Beach-Front
in 1901





Property Owners
Question Paying without 
Representation in old Lake View
in 1902
Children at Play 
at the Beach
in 1902

Throngs of Bathers
in 1908
Opening the Beach-Front 
in 1910
The Beach-Front is Free
in 1910
Dear Old Lake Michigan
in 1910
Fullerton Avenue
 Street-End Beach
postcard part of my collection
The Proposed Lakefront
Then and Now
all images - Historic Map Works
These images are from Sanborn Fire Maps of 1909 that highlighted the proposed plans to extend Lincoln Park northward from Fullerton Avenue to Cornelia Street. The plan to expand northward was approved by the Chicago City Council in 1913. Lincoln Park would  gradually be established northward by the late 1920's. The future harbors were to be lagoons apparently retaining their street-end beaches within the new harbor space.
The Proposed View of the Lakefront
Fullerton Avenue to Diversey Boulevard (Parkway)
2016 Google Map view

Diversey Boulevard 
to Belmont Avenue
                     2016 Google Map view                     

 Cornelia was the northern border of Lincoln Park until the mid to late 1920's to early 1930's. The development of Montrose Beach and Harbor would be the next development northward.
Belmont Avenue 
to Cornelia Avenue
2016 Google Map view
Belmont Yacht Harbor Opens
in 1913
the thin layer of beach remains
this postcard is part of my collection
The Beaches Increased Popularity 
by 1916
Bathing Suits 
and Other Requirements
in 1916
Less on Beaches
& more landfill
in 1917
More Park Space North 
of Irving Park Road 
in 1927
A 1928 View 
of the Landfill to Montrose
colorized photo - Calumet 412
Lincoln Park now ends at Wilson Avenue
 and keeping the street-end beach of Wilson Avenue intact. As the park is extended northward so is Lake Shore Drive
photo - unknown source
at Clarendon Avenue
established in 1916
known at the time 
as the first 'peoples beach' 
1928 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map - edited
located between Galt (Agatitle) & Wilson Avenue
and the building below
Chicago History in Postcards
The Rules 
of the Road
Short List:
Addison Street-End 
Beach 

photos - Chicago History Museum via Daily News Archive
This particular boardwalk shown below began somewhere near Diversey Parkway and ended near Grace Street. 
 1915 photos - Chicago History Museum via Daily News Archive
At high-tide this beachhead would be submerged
Barry Avenue 
'Street-end' Bathing Beach 
in 1903
referred to as the 'Babies Beach'
a private beach

Swimming Races at Barry Beach
in 1905
Rescues in 1899

Barry Avenue & the lakefront 
in 1891
and in 1923
Barry Beach and others
Abandoned by 1910
The Oakdale 
Bathing Beach
as it look in 1902
Diversey Avenue (Parkway)
Bathing Beach
District of Lake View
Diversey Avenue/Boulavard was to be the link to 
Lincoln Park and the Chicago's boulavard/park system
in the 1890's - I have a post for that part of our history
park and beach space 1910-ish - Calumet 412
postcard - Ebay
1890ish photo - via Calumet 412
 1909 view according to Calumet 412
and a 1912 view according to Calumet 412
Wellington Avenue 
Bathing Beach & a Sewer
Bonds from Lake View (Township)
to create a lagoon/beach/harbor
in 1894
Separating Men 
from Women/Children
in 1914
The Fence that Separates: 
The Pro or Con
in 1915
Apparently, the Diversey Avenue Bathing Beach
1907 postcard - Ebay
early 1920's - Ebay

The Bathing Beach 
to be replaced by Golfers in 1922??

1924 postcard view - Chuckman Collection
This postcard, while highlighting the The Embassy Hotel on Diversey Parkway, also highlights the park space between the harbors - Diversey to Belmont - at that time. By the late 1930's the golf course would be shorten again due to the widening of 
Lake Shore Drive's federal WPA project
postcard - Ebay
what appears to be the Diversey Avenue Bridge
1929 photo below - Chuckman Collection 
the initial rendering of new harbor
 map - Chicagology
It was largest public 'bathing' beach in Chicago and promoted as the largest beach in the world, at that time
image - Chicago Park District
photo - Illinois Library Digital Collection
'Tens of thousands in the water at Clarendon Beach, 1916: 23,000 bathers have visited this single beach in one day."  

photos - Calumet 412 
Located at the foot of Sunnyside Avenue - 1920's 
Chuckman Collection & Chicago History in Postcards
1916 photo - University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign
1917 - Chicago History Museum via Daily News Archives 
A Field House view 
in 1916 
photos - Chicago History Museum via Daily News Archives

The 'Public House' building was designed by city architect C.W. Kallal in a Mediterranean Revival Style, an architectural style that was used for such buildings as Marshall and Fox’s South Shore Country Club of 1916 (now South Shore Cultural Center) and the 63rd Street Bathing Pavilion in 1919. This style, also referred to as the 'Italian Resort Style' was defined by tall towers capped with hipped-roofs clad in clay tiles, large entry colonnades, porticos, loggias and open-air promenades compliments this style of architecture.
Aerial Photo in 1925
(to enlarge)
zoomed view below
Beach to be Replaced 
in 1931
Construction of the 
New Harbor
by late 1920's
draining out the water to be landfilled 
much like the same process for Belmont Harbor
photo - Ask Geoffrey Chicago Tonight WTTW
Plans for the old 'Public House' 
and property 1929
Due to the potential loss of beach with the extension of the park northward plans were made to create a city college on that public land. The plan would ultimately fail.
A new harbor replaces the 
Clarendon Municipal Bathing Beach by 1932
image - Art Institute of Chicago
photo above - Art Institute of Chicago
photo below - via Bob Hendricks/Forgotten Chicago 
Discussion Group
(a private beach - for neighbors only)
There was this wall separating the Clarendon Municipal Beach with the one on Wilson
photo - Chuckman Collection
postcards - Chicago History in Postcards 
Below is the photo of the fence that separated the public beach from the nieghborhood private beach
photos - Chicago History Museum, Daily News photographer
1905 with the Wilson Avenue Crib in the background 
A Race along the stretch of the beach 
from Monstrose Avenue in 1913
1915 photo - Chicago History Museum Daily News Archives

Protest Against Vice 
in 1911
Of course, vice meant a great deal more in those days
A Winter Scene 
with view toward Wilson Avenue Bathing Beach
unknown date
Chicago History Museum Daily News Archives
 1919 photo - Chicago History Museum
The Water Swing 1921 - Calumet 412
 1922 that shows the divider between the public 
and private beach from the Wilson Avenue side
Riparian Rights/Limits Signed into 
Federal Law 
in 1917
Wilson Avenue Bathing Beach 
becomes Public
in 1918
The Lawrence Avenue 
Street-End Beach
The Lake View Water Pumping Station (chimney) is in the background once located on Clarendon Avenue
between Irving Park Road and Montrose
I have a post of the Lake View Water Works - the crib & the pumping station that was once located on the northeast corner of Clarendon and Montrose avenues
The Argyle Avenue
 Bathing Beach
photo - '900 Block of Argyle Historical Appreciation Page'
on Facebook
unknown date
Riparian Rights Issue and 
the End of Street-end Beaches
A Map of Possibilities in 1926
and not without 
of court battle
Plans for Continued for Expansion 
Even Further North
in 1933
The Lincoln Park Board of Commissioners sought to create a similar plan to mirror the 1933 World Fair design
 
The Belmont Yacht Harbor 
Bathing Beach
 postcard view indicated a beach area
both images part of my personal collection
a 1940 view indicates a beach area
Just north of Belmont Avenue along the harbor was a beach space that surrounded the club house. That space disappeared after the Lake Shore Drive extension of 1937-42
There's Another 
Type of Beach
The Doggie Beach
at Belmont Harbor
3600 N Lake Shore Drive
Belmont Harbor Dog Beach is located at 3600 N Lake Shore Drive on just north of Belmont Harbor waters. The stretch of sand if what is left of the old beach area. The area is about 1/10th of an acre. There’s still plenty of room for dogs to run, frolic and play fetch. As with all Chicago dog parks/beaches, dogs must have an up-to-date vaccination tag.
An Account 
in 1994
Chicago Park District still says NO
in 2003
A Tribune Review in 2009
photo - Chicago Tribune
photo - Wibiti
aerial view
photos - Yelp
 with more photos including 

Pay Attention

Paying attention is the No. 1 rule of dog beach etiquette. "Keep a close eye on them," said Oliver Sorisho, 20, of Park Ridge, who had his 4-month-old pitbull Bella with him at Montrose. The dog beach is a great place for both humans and dogs to socialize, as long as human interaction isn't your only focus, Clayton, 35, said. Don't ever leave your dog unattended, even if you're just stepping away for a moment, advises MonDog, a volunteer-run organization that represents dog beach owners of Montrose.

Pee Happens

Stuff on the ground is fair game, MonDog says. Accept it. "Dogs will pee on ANYTHING on the ground. Shoes, back packs, chairs, bags of poo, coolers, you name it. Once one pees on it, they all want to pee on it. Or one will drag it off as a toy. So put stuff on the ground at your own risk. It's a better idea to hang it on the fence."

Oblige Separation Requests

If an owner doesn't want your dog playing with his or her dog, you should oblige, according to MonDog. If your dog's the one being picked on, should you speak up? When Josia Martinez, of Irving Park, runs into problems, he usually just calls his 5-year-old Siberian husky Luna away to a different area of the huge beach. "It's not my place to say something," he said. "Just relocate."

No Food

There's no food allowed on the dog beach, but during last week's visit, it was in high supply. Martinez said the worst etiquette infraction he's seen at the dog beach is people feeding others' pets. "People feeding other dogs, that’s a big problem," Martinez said. "You don't know what someone else's dog is allergic to."

Know Your Dog's Limits

Training is important, and Sorisho's 4-month-old pitbull puppy Bella was learning the ropes at Montrose Monday. Sorisho kept close by, and often pulled her off of other dogs if she started to play too rough. I feel like my dog is the meanest one here," he said. "She always picks on the little ones." Sorisho estimated 95 percent of owners at the dog beach follow the rules, and he's enjoyed getting new puppy advice when talking to other owners. If a dog is aggressive, though, it needs to be leashed and removed from the beach immediately, MonDog says.

The Dog Park
2024

I have given my support to move forward with a new location for the Lakeview dog park in Lincoln Park, about a quarter mile off of Wellington, and near the Maradona Practice Field (see below for a site map). Please note that a previous location was near the Barry entrance to the lake, and the location was shifted so the park could be both larger and further away from residences.We hope that this location will serve nearby dog owners, and make use of an out of the way, otherwise vacant area. I have committed $100,000 in funding to support this project, and in order to ensure it meets the needs of both dog owners and residents, I encourage you to fill out the survey below.

-Alderman Bennett Lawson


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