Edgewater Beach Hotel

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Edgewater Beach Apartments
The Edgewater Beach Apartments, built in 1928
Edgewater Beach Hotel is located in Illinois
Edgewater Beach Hotel
Location 5555 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°59′1″N 87°39′17″W / 41.98361°N 87.65472°W / 41.98361; -87.65472Coordinates: 41°59′1″N 87°39′17″W / 41.98361°N 87.65472°W / 41.98361; -87.65472
Built 1928 (apartments)
Architect J.B. Dibelka
Architectural style No Style Listed
Governing body Private
MPS Bryn Mawr Avenue Historic District
NRHP Reference # 94000979 [1]
Added to NRHP August 16, 1994

The Edgewater Beach Hotel was a hotel in the far-north neighborhood community of Edgewater in Chicago, Illinois. Built in 1916 and owned by John Tobin Connery and James Patrick Connery, it was located between Sheridan Road and Lake Michigan at Berwyn Avenue.[2] The complex had a private beach and offered seaplane service to downtown Chicago.[3][4] During its lifetime, the hotel served many famous guests including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Lena Horne, Tallulah Bankhead, and Nat King Cole, and U.S. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The hotel was known for hosting big bands such as those of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Xavier Cugat, and Wayne King, which were also broadcast on the hotel's own radio station, a precursor to WGN with the call letters WEBH.

On June 14, 1949, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus was shot and nearly killed by an obsessive fan at the hotel, 19-year-old Ruth Steinhagen; this later would be a large part of the inspiration behind Bernard Malamud's novel The Natural.

The 1951–54 extension of Lake Shore Drive from Foster Avenue to Hollywood Avenue cut the hotel off from the beach leading to a reduction in business. The hotel closed in 1967 and the main buildings were demolished shortly after.[2] The Edgewater Beach Co-op or Apartments, built in 1928,[5] is the only part of the hotel complex to survive and is part of the Bryn Mawr Historic District.

The developers also built a sister hotel, the Edgewater Gulf Hotel, in Biloxi, Mississippi. Both projects were designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Marshall and Fox.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b Enright, Laura (2005). "Architecture". Chicago's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Murderous Mobsters, Midway Monsters, and Windy City Oddities. Dulles, VA: Brassey's. p. 31. ISBN 1-57488-785-8. 
  3. ^ "Edgewater Beach Hotel". Emporis. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  4. ^ Ginny Weissman. "The Edgewater Beach Hotel: Magic by the Lake". Chicago Stories. WTTW11. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  5. ^ "Edgewater Beach Apartments". Emporis. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 

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