Crafting Your Experience

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CAC Open House

Tales of the Gold Coast Trail

Following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, many of the city’s most prominent families chose to leave their South Side mansions for the less congested and more serene North Side. They commissioned some of the country’s most notable architects to design grand residences throughout the northeast pocket of today’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Astor Street in particular became a desirable address. Today, the neighborhood displays an encyclopedia’s worth of architectural styles popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Georgian Revival, Richardsonian Romanesque, Queen Anne, and Art Deco. This curated selection of buildings focuses mostly on Astor Street with a brief foray onto Dearborn, a street that housed a more middle-class community in comparison with the neighbors to the east. As you explore the route, hear CAC docent Virginia Gerst recount some of her favorite stories associated with the Gold Coast’s remarkable buildings and the people who occupied them. As this is a residential neighborhood, please be respectful of people’s property and keep to the public right-of-way. Photo by Zachary Whittenburg

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