June 15, 2015

The Lake View House

The Lake View Hotel
original the home of Elisha Huntley with a lakeside 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 in the beginning as the Lake View House.
photo - Art Institute of Chicago
several additions were constructed prior to 1890
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) indicated the property was purchased for an
 investment as an instrument for further real estate sales
envelope cover stamped 1857 the year Lake View was incorporated as a township - Ebay
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 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. James Ree and Elisa Hundley used their hotel to attract visiting land speculators and wealthy Chicagoans who wished to escape the social and legal restraints of city life. 
Rooms and Boarding at the Hotel
with assistance of Todd Cannon
 1864 May 14th
 1864 June 14th
and below 1865 January 9th
images with the assistance of Todd Cannon
A Boat Ride to the Hotel in 1866
The Lake View (House aka hotel) was located near the lakefront between Grace and Byron Avenues (Sheridan Road) a 'stone throw' away from the then existing lakefront. Apparently, the building was  sold in 1868 and resold a few more times to be demolished by 1890.
A 1854 article below indicates an investment in Lake View by surveyor James Rees and his friend Elisha Hundley in a subdivision called Pine Grove - today Lake View East
James H. Rees
image - Chicago Title and Insurance Company 
an 1887 Sanborn Fire Map that highlights the hotel 
image - Historic Map Works
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.
My Framed Lithograph
about the view ...
The Route to the Lake View Hotel
  Lake View Saga 1857-1974
About the Building: the legend tale
Lake View Saga 1857-1985, the second publication 
The Plank Road to the Hotel in 1870
The owners of the hotel and residents of Community of Pine Grove needed a closer roadway near the existing lakefront
from Cornelia south to Clark Street ..
the section highlights the name of the plank road as 
Lake Shore Plank Road
(zoomed view of above map)
The previous names of Broadway
part of a longer and interesting research article with a
example of a plank road below 
 A Reference to the Hotel & New Roadway 1874

Hotel was Gone by 1877
The Lake View Rifle Club
established in 1870 on the former hotel grounds
text - Marquis Handbook of Chicago 1885
photo - Ebay  and now part of my collection
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 to Fort Sheridan by the first quarter of the 20th century - the old fort in the Town of Highwood would become Town of Fort Sheridan.

1898 photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection 
A view of the Sheridan Road along the lakefront
The hotel was located at this location prior to 1890. This roadway along the lakefront was to be originally called North-Lake Shore Drive but was renamed Sheridan Road in the mid 1890's after a general who served the City of Chicago after the 1871 Chicago fire. 
 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.
photo - Grace and Sheridan Road postcard 1910's
(Facebook Album) 
This project began by me, Garry Albrecht, one of the directors of the
Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association in 2018 with the collaboration from the manager of the Sheridan Triangle Garden and the 46th Chicago ward office, James Cappleman, alderman. 
I devoted a few years promoting this project. The dedication was held in September of 2019. The site/garden was selected due to its  proximity to the hotel location and the lakefront.
 the proto-type in 2018 
and the final design in 2019
We used the photo from the RLVHA collection
The garden is located at the 3800 block of inner Lake Shore Drive which is a block west of the hotel location and more then likely part of the hotel's property. Note: Prior to 1890's inner Lake Shore Drive was part of Lake Michigan as well as the current LSD.
the plaque will be mounted on the north wall of the shed 
once used as for the Chicago Rapid Transit Agency 
The Final Product
 Dayle Murphy, Vice President of RLVHA, who was project manager of this project and presented the plaque at the association's meeting in June 2019 
held at Sulzer Regional Library - their meeting place.
The Event Day Photos
 the event blueprint illustrated by Jill Weinberg 
- manager of the garden

 for the ribbon cutting segment of program

 me and a very interested attendee
 Pat Murphy - RLVHA project manager, 
Alderman James Capplemen of the 46th ward and me
 *my 5 minutes of fame*
Behind me in 1854 would have been the lake at the time.
taking the audience back to 1854 - the first dinner party at the hotel and the area's surroundings at that time

Post Notes: 
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.
              A Booklet Reference from 1924
                        I would love to obtain this magazine
Note: Not until about 1930 did the official 'Community Areas' of Chicago develop and take hold so the title of the bottom of the cover is actually about Lake View not Uptown

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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