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Residential Architecture: From Mansions to Modernism

  • Chicago Architecture Center 111 East Upper Wacker Drive Chicago, IL, 60601 United States (map)

Many of the Chicago’s loveliest and most luxurious residential buildings are located along the lakefront. The trend began in the late 1870s, when owners hired acclaimed Chicago architects to build their mansions and row houses near a stretch of the newly-completed Lake Shore Drive. In the 1890s, South Side apartment hotels went up near the World’s Columbian Exposition, and just over a decade later, the first luxury apartment buildings appeared along the north lakefront. Elegant apartment towers abounded throughout the 1920s. Although residential construction had come to a complete halt during the Depression and WWII years, in the Post War era new modern high-rises sprouted along Chicago’s lakefront. In this Lifelong Learning Series, historian Julia Bachrach will illuminate the fascinating story of Chicago’s residential lakefront architecture from the 1870s through the 1970s. See more at

Photo: The 1927 luxury apartment building at 3300 N. Lake Shore Drive was designed by Rissman & Hirshfeld with associate architect Edwin D. Krenn. Photo by Julia Bachrach.