20 April, 2012

Edith on Lake Shore Drive

I continue to be astonished every time I sift through the Edwin Krenn material. The other day I found a cache of small photos that Edwin had taken of Edith in 1924. I know this because I also have the receipts and negatives from the Michigan Ave. camera shop where Edwin took the film for processing. I even have the instruction manual for the camera. In short, the man saved everything.

Edith Rockefeller McCormick seated along Lake Shore Drive next to the lakefront. The Blair and Countiss homes are in the background behind her.


The bonus to this photo is that it links past and present. If you look behind Edith, you will see the Edward T. Blair house on the left and the Elanor Robinson Countiss house on the right. Both mansions remain extant, and have been home to the International College of Surgeons; with the Countiss mansion housing the International Museum of Surgical Science since 1950. They are two of the seven remaining mansions that still grace this section of Lake Shore Drive, which once was populated entirely with other homes from Oak St. to North Ave.

The Blair (left) and Countiss (center) mansions today. (To the far right is 1530 N. Lake Shore Drive, which now houses the Polish consulate. It was designed by architect Benjamin Howard Marshall [of Drake Hotel fame] in 1916 for Bernard Albert Eckhart.)


The Blair mansion (1520 N. Lake Shore Drive) was built in 1914 according to the design of renowned New York architects McKim, Mead and White. The Countiss mansion, at 1524 N. Lake Shore Drive was designed by the distinguished Chicago and Lake Forest architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1917.

Edith's own home at 1000 Lake Shore Drive was just a few streets south, between Oak St. and Bellevue Place. I located this aerial photo taken of the house and gardens among Edwin's things just a few days ago:

1000 Lake Shore Drive, designed by Solon Spencer Beman in 1883.


I'd like to wrap this up with my favorite photo of Edith found to date. I adore it for the expression and easy-going nature of it. It is evident that it was taken sometime in the 1920's and I'm working on determining the location:

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