As one of the nation’s most affluent and celebrated neighborhoods, the Gold Coast more than lives up to its name.
The Gold Coast is a quiet retreat of tree-lined streets and architectural gems. The historic district is steps from top attractions and is at the heart of Chicago’s cultural scene. These include the Magnificent Mile shopping district, award-winning restaurants, and prestigious museums and institutions. This attractive blend of mansions, historic row houses, and luxury high-rises attracts Chicago’s elite (and tons of tourists) for good reason.
Gold Coast Neighborhood Guide
Residence in the Gold Coast puts some of Chicago’s best restaurants in your backyard. Celebrated restaurants include Chicago steakhouses, authentic Italian, and even Michelin Star winners. Rush Street is the local food haven. Mouthwatering options include Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse and Jellyfish’s world-class sushi. Not all the restaurants in the Gold Coast are upscale. A great mid-range option is La Storia for family Italian. Casual options include great Mediterranean, Greek, and, being Chicago, deep-dish pizza.
Gold Coast Shopping
The Gold Coast is a premier shopping destination. The area includes the Magnificent Mile shopping district. The Magnificent Mile’s 460 stores, 275 restaurants, and more make it one of the most famous shopping districts in the world. The Gold Coast itself is lined with upscale boutiques and national and international retailers. With so much variety, the options are endless.
The Gold Coast is known for its entertainment and nightlife. Historic theater companies in the area include the Lookingglass Theater, Broadway Playhouse, and the comedy institution, The Second City. Art lovers will enjoy the Museum of Contemporary Art, while The Newberry Library hosts a collection of priceless artifacts. The area is home to great bars including Sparrows, with its 1930s hotel lobby aesthetic and The Pump Room (a favorite of Frank Sinatra and Mick Jagger). And, given the beauty of the area, a simple evening stroll past Chicago landmarks is always an attractive option.
In nicer weather, Lake Michigan and the lakefront beaches are only steps away. The Gold Coast is bookended by two of Chicago’s nicest beaches, the Oak Street and North Avenue Beaches. Both beaches offer some of the best views in the city, beachside cafes and restaurants, great swimming areas, and other amenities.
Just to the north lies miles of lakeside trails and all the splendor of Lincoln Park, including the free Lincoln Park Zoo. Washington Square Park, founded in 1842, is famous for its role as a public forum. The park’s restored fountains and manicured grounds make it a perfect stop for relaxing in the city. With the Gold Coast’s central location and the CTA and Lake Shore Drive, the rest of Chicago is at your resident’s fingertips!
Gold Coast History
Early Years (1870-1900)
Once little more than a swampy beachfront, the Gold Coast began to take its modern form in the wake of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In the spirit of reconstruction, real estate mogul Potter Palmer received a loan to fill the swamp and prepare the area for development. In the following years, major figures including Marshall Field, Cyrus McCormick, among others built impressive mansions in the neighborhood.
From Castles to City Mansions to High Rises (1900-1960)
Decades of increasing popularity gradually transformed the area. Rather than castle-like mansions, Gold Town’s streets became lined with huge houses on narrow lots. This economy of space led to the construction of luxury high-rise buildings along Lake Shore Drive, shattering previous conceptions that apartments could not be for the wealthy.
Cultural institutions, including the Newberry Library and the Latin School of Chicago, were established in the area. By the 1920s, the Gold Coast was firmly the heart of upper-crust Chicago society.
Due to its density of wealth, the neighborhood was spared the decline and decay brought on by the Great Depression. In the 1950s, further investment in the area was spurred by nearby urban renewal projects such as Sandburg Village and the revitalization of the Magnificent Mile shopping corridor.
Gold Coast Today
Home to much of Chicago’s elite in business, entertainment, and politics, the Goal Coast retains its historical prestige. A bridge to Chicago’s illustrious past, it is also a vital part of its present and future. Tourists come from across the world to explore the area’s shopping and dining, cultural attractions, or simply marvel at its beauty.
Gold Coast Homes
Featuring a variety of full-service mid-rise and high-rise condos in vintage and contemporary styles, classic urban row houses, as well as stately mansions, the Gold Coast’s offerings are one-of-a-kind. Residents enjoy beautiful beaches, world-class culture, great shopping and dining, and excellent public and private schools. One of Chicago’s great neighborhoods, living in the Gold Coast is a symbol of success.