01 December, 2013

The Last Days of 1000 Lake Shore Drive

The secondary gates and iron fence of 1000 Lake Shore Drive would be created by Winslow Brothers (an artistic iron works company) in addition to the main gates, which were originally a part of the World's Colombian Exposition of 1893.

I find it telling that the demise of Edith's two residences should fall so close to one another. It was definitely a sign of the times; post World War II ushered in an era that didn't favor large homes or estates (taxes were prohibitive), and everyone wanted something new anyway. Historic preservation was in it's infancy in the United States, and these two iconic estates were but part of thousands that would not escape demolition.

1000 Lake Shore Drive in 1952

Perhaps had they somehow held on into the late 1970's (and most definitely the 1980's) we would see an all together different landscape in Chicago and on the North Shore. These pictures were taken at the end of 1952 prior to 1000 Lake Shore falling victim to the wrecking ball. Villa Turicum would hold on for just a few more years, until it would suffer the same fate in 1956-57.

Photographer Mildred Meade took this photo while standing in the Oak Street/Lake Shore Dr. intersection in December of 1952. According to The Submerged and Shore Lands Legislative Investigating Committee of 1911, "The residence of Harold McCormick occupies the territory bounded on the east by the Lake Shore Drive, 20 feet west of the Lake Shore drive on Oak st. and 100 feet west from the Lake Shore drive on Bellevue Place."

The Southern face of 1000 Lake Shore Drive. The residence was designed by Solon Spencer Beman, and built in the 1880s by Nathaniel S. Jones, a successful grain merchant. It is quite evident in this photo that the structure remains sound.

This photo was taken from the Drake Hotel across the street. I am guessing that Mildred Meade was given access to an area of the Hotel that would give her this vantage point, as she is obviously on the second or third floor.

The Bellevue Place exterior of the mansion.

Once again, the Southern exterior of the mansion and the neglected grounds. Here is an earlier post in which you can view the estate in it's prime. (CLICK HERE)


Anonymous said...

Magnificent. Like all you write about, I'm saddened and enchanted at the same time Todd.

Arthur H. Miller said...

The problem with VT was that nobody wanted the house or site, but 1000 LSD was a hot location, even in the postwar era.