Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : The Plan of Chicago
The Plan of Chicago
Chicago in 1909
Planning Before the Plan
Antecedents and Inspirations
The City the Planners Saw
The Plan of Chicago
The Plan Comes Together
Creating the Plan
Reading the Plan
A Living Document
Lake Shore Drive
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The lakefront pleasure parkway evolved over the years into a limited access automobile highway

The Old Lake Shore Drive


The date of this photograph is probably the mid-1880s, shortly after construction of the home of Bertha and Potter Palmer (1882, at 1350 North Lakeshore Drive), visible on the left. At this point, Lake Shore Drive (often called the Inner Drive) was a relatively quiet boulevard used for carriage rides along the lakefront.

See also: Burnham Plan

Panoramic View of Lake Shore Drive


This picture was taken in September 2004 from the corner of Cedar Street. The Inner Drive is clearly visible, and beyond the trees are the Outer Drive and the lakefront, constructed on filled land.

See also: Burnham Plan

Gold Cost Aerial View, 1929


By this time Lake Shore Drive was unquestionably a major boulevard, but not yet the highway familiar to drivers today. The construction of the Outer Drive on the filled lakefront was completed up to North Avenue by 1939, to Belmont Avenue (and south to 47th Street) by 1942.

See also: Apartments

North Outer Drive Extension, 1955


Construction of the highway to its current terminus at Hollywood Avenue. One of the cloverleaf interchanges from the northern section of Lake Shore Drive is visible.

See also: Lake Michigan

Lakefront at 59th Street


In this photograph from the 1920s, the lakeshore just north of Jackson Park near what would soon be the Museum of Science and Industry is still under construction. Outer Lake Shore Drive did not yet reach this far south until the early 1940s.

See also: Jackson Park