Dill Pickle Club Entrance, n.d.
Neighborhood in the
Near North Side
Community Area. Towertown was Chicago's bohemia in the early twentieth century. Lacking precise boundaries, the district took its name from the Water Tower, which stood to its north and east on Michigan Avenue. An
took root in Towertown when Anna and Lambert Tree built Tree Studios to tempt
to stay in Chicago after the 1893
World's Columbian Exposition.
The concentration of artists, writers, and poets attracted bookshops and
the most famous of which was the Dill Pickle Club. Soapbox orators gathered in
to debate the issues of the day.
lesbians, and experimenters in free love took refuge among Towertown's radicals. By the mid-1920s, rising property values driven by the luxury shopping district on nearby Michigan Avenue were pricing out many of the artists. Towertown became a tourist attraction, further alienating its bohemian denizens. By the
the art colony had dispersed.