Gold Coast Historic District (Chicago)

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Gold Coast Historic District
Chicago (ILL), Near North Side, John Hancock Center, 1970. " The Gold Coast " (4825109978).jpg
Gold Coast's Oak Street Beach
Gold Coast Historic District (Chicago) is located in Chicago metropolitan area
Gold Coast Historic District (Chicago)
Gold Coast Historic District (Chicago) is located in Illinois
Gold Coast Historic District (Chicago)
Gold Coast Historic District (Chicago) is located in the United States
Gold Coast Historic District (Chicago)
LocationRoughly bounded by North Ave., Lake Shore Dr., Clark and Oak Sts., Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates41°54′21″N 87°37′41″W / 41.90583°N 87.62806°W / 41.90583; -87.62806Coordinates: 41°54′21″N 87°37′41″W / 41.90583°N 87.62806°W / 41.90583; -87.62806
ArchitectMcKim, Mead & White; multiple
Architectural styleModerne, Italianate, Queen Anne
NRHP reference No.78001121
Added to NRHPJanuary 30, 1978[1]

The Gold Coast Historic District is a historic district in Chicago, Illinois. 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.

In the late 1980s, the Gold Coast and neighboring Streeterville comprised the second most-affluent neighborhood in the United States, behind Manhattan's Upper East Side.[2] Today, the neighborhood is a mixture of mansions, row houses, and high-rise apartments. Highlights include the Astor Street District and the James Charnley House.

The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[1][3]

The nearby East Lake Shore Drive District and parts of northern Streeterville and the Magnificent Mile near the lake also may be considered part of the Gold Coast (such as the area around the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments), even if not technically in the historic designation.[4] The mayor's office map extends the Gold Coast south to the area of Northwestern University's Chicago campus.

As of 2011, Gold Coast ranks as the seventh-richest urban neighborhood in America with a median household income of $153,358.[5]


Historical images of Chicago's Gold Coast can be found in Explore Chicago Collections, a digital repository made available by Chicago Collections archives, libraries and other cultural institutions in the city.[6]


Chicago Gold Coast from North Avenue Beach looking south.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) operates public schools serving the community.[7] Ogden International School of Chicago has its East Campus, which houses elementary school,[8] in the Gold Coast.[9]

Residents of the Gold Coast are zoned to Ogden School for grades K-8,[10] while for high school they are zoned to Lincoln Park High School.[11] Any graduate from Ogden's 8th grade program may automatically move on to the 9th grade at Ogden, but students who did not graduate from Ogden's middle school must apply to the high school.[12]

The Latin School of Chicago is also located in the Gold Coast and is one of the nation's most prestigious K-12 private schools.

Notable residents[edit]

Gold Coast has a long tradition of being home to some of the nation's wealthiest and influential residents. These include:

  • J.B. Pritzker – businessman, venture capitalist, politician and current Governor of Illinois.
  • Lori Greiner – inventor, entrepreneur, and television personality
  • Vince Vaughn – actor


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ Don DeBat and Gary S. Meyers. "Manhattan transfer–Streeterville and the Gold Coast : Second plushest neighborhood in U.S. has it all". Chicago Sun-Times. January 13, 1989. 15.
  3. ^ National Register of Historic Places in Cook County. Retrieved on June 12, 2008.
  4. ^ "Chicago neighborhoods" (PDF). City of Chicago. Retrieved 2010-04-16.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Richest urban neighborhoods 2011
  6. ^ Long, Elizabeth. "A Single Portal to Chicago's History". The University of Chicago News. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Map." Gold Coast Neighbors Association. Retrieved on December 21, 2016.
  8. ^ Home. Ogden International School of Chicago. Retrieved on October 10, 2018. "Head of Elementary: [...] Grades K-4 East Campus 24 W. Walton St. Chicago, IL 60610"
  9. ^ Matthews, David (2016-11-01). "Ogden-Jenner Merger Is Best For Both Schools, New Study Says". Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  10. ^ "Near North/West/Central Elementary Schools Archived June 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine" (Archive). Chicago Public Schools. May 17, 2013. Retrieved on May 25, 2015.
  11. ^ "HS North/Near North." Chicago Public Schools. 2013. Retrieved on September 30, 2016.
  12. ^ "Admissions". Ogden International School. Retrieved 2020-04-04. Graduates of 8th grade at Jenner Campus can automatically enroll in 9th grade at Ogden's West Campus. If your child graduated from a different middle school [...]

External links[edit]