AtoZ Blog Challenge – G – Gold Coast Area in Chicago


Inviting you to follow my blog so you won’t miss anything, but can read in leisure. Let’s stroll Lake Shore Drive today along The Gold Coast


Important to this lake front scene are the elegant apartment buildings that line the West Side of Lake Shore Drive. Katherine grew up wondering about the people who lived in these expensive properties, always enthralled with the exquisite interior photographs in a magazine like Architectural Digest. She imagined an urban and sophisticated couple saying good evening to their doorman before asking him to hail a taxi to take them to some smart and expensive restaurant. Given Katherine’s disposition, she believed the occupants of these lovely buildings were living rich and interesting lives in a beautiful and fascinating city. Now Katherine owned one of these amazing apartments.  From my new novel, Facing East


A Wikipedia Moment: The Gold Coast Historic District is a part of Chicago’s Near North Side community area, it is roughly bounded by North Avenue, Lake Shore Drive, Oak Street, and Clark Street.

The Gold Coast neighborhood grew in the wake of the Great Chicago Fire. In 1882, millionaire Potter Palmer moved to the area from the Prairie Avenue neighborhood on the city’s south side. He filled in a swampy area which later became Lake Shore Drive, and built the Palmer Mansion, a forty-two room castle-like structure designed by Henry Ives Cobb and Charles Sumner Frost. Other wealthy Chicagoans followed Potter into the neighborhood, which became one of the richest in Chicago. Today, the neighborhood is a mixture of mansions, row houses, and high-rise apartments.

The nearby East Lake Shore Drive District and parts of northern Streeterville and the Magnificent Mile near the lake can also be considered part of the Gold Coast (such as the area around the famous 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments), even if not technically in the historic designation.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in AtoZ Blog Challenge April 2015 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to AtoZ Blog Challenge – G – Gold Coast Area in Chicago

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    Really spectacular buildings

  2. gapark says:

    I visited Chicago a few years ago– beautiful city! Enjoyed all the frank Lloyd wright homes especially. Thanks for visiting me. Love your photos!

    • The Frank L. Wright homes in Oak Park are wonderful. Hope you have a chance to come back to Chicago some time soon. Maybe you will read my new novel set in Chicago for a reading visit. Thanks for taking the time to visit.

  3. J E Oneil says:

    What wonderful architecture. I’ve never been to Chicago, but I hope I get to go someday 🙂

    • Plan a trip ASAP. I mention a free architectural weekend in Oct. that you might want to know about. If you check out my post for the letter A, it will give you the link. It is a free opportunity to visit these architectural gems. Come back to see me when you can.

  4. Jean Davis says:

    I’ve been down Lakeshore Drive a time or two over the years. Beautiful houses there. I’ll stick to my side of the lake though, far less traffic. 🙂

  5. John Holton says:

    One of my mother’s cousins lives in one of the highrises along LSD north of the Drake and the Playboy Building. Not quite as elegant as these buildings, but it’s a nice area.

  6. I enjoyed perusing your blog! Such beautiful photography, and some very interesting blurbs from your novel.

    My sister was born in Chicago, but it was just a brief period of time when my folks didn’t live in the south.

    • I have become a southerner over time. I left home from Evanston and went to U. of KY. in Lexington. Now, for many years, I have become a North Carolinian. All the southern writers have influenced my own writing. I get a Chicago fix visiting family. Have loved the #Challenge to be able to write about the area. Come back and see me when you can.

  7. TRISTA says:

    The excerpts from your novel are captivating, and so are these gorgeous photos! (I love the fairy lights especially). Unless otherwise noted, did you take these images? I will share this with my friend whose family is in Chicago, and she just returned from a long visit there.

  8. noelleg44 says:

    Always loved driving by these spectacular houses – must be the architectural interest and wonder in me.

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