14 September, 2010

1000 Lake Shore Drive

I was recently contacted by a fellow who is putting together a "labor-of-love documentary homage to Ulysses," written by James Joyce.  Because Edith Rockefeller McCormick was a patron of Joyce, my contact is in need of photographs. As I started digging through my files, I found these pictures that were taken of Edith and Harold's Chicago residence. During this time, Lakeshore Drive (as named by Potter Palmer) was a relatively quiet boulevard used for carriage rides and strolls along the lakefront.

The front of the mansion faced North. The street in the foreground is Bellevue Place. This picture was taken in 1901.

Not long after Edith was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1930, her brother (John D. Rockefeller, Jr.) traveled to Chicago to convince her to vacate her beloved home and take a suite of rooms at the Drake Hotel. This was a forced economization, as Edith's mounting debts were believed to be a threat to the Rockefeller holdings. How awful it must have been for her to gaze out of the hotel windows and see her home and sanctum, with so many memories - less than 100 feet across the street.

Southern exposure.

The front gates on Bellevue Place .

The Lake Shore Drive exterior of the mansion. The figure in the lower right of the picture is facing West on Bellevue Place. This image was taken in 1907.

Incidentally, the house was designed by Solon Spencer Beman, who also designed the Fine Arts Building (once known as the Studebaker Building), which still exists on Michigan Ave. Like so many other turn of the century homes, 1000 Lake Shore fell to the wrecking ball in order to construct 1000 Lake Shore Drive in 1953. (1000 Lake Shore Plaza was to follow in 1964.)

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