Michigan Avenue is a north-south street in Chicago which runs at 100 east on the Chicago grid. The northern end of the street is at Lake Shore Drive on the shore of Lake Michigan in the Gold Coast Historic District. The street's southern terminus is at Sibley Boulevard in the southern suburb of Harvey, though like many Chicago streets it exists in several disjointed segments.
As the home of the Chicago Water Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, and the shopping on the Magnificent Mile, it is a street well known to Chicago natives as well as tourists to the city. Michigan Avenue also is the main commercial street of Streeterville. It includes all of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District and most of the Michigan–Wacker Historic District, including the scenic urban space anchored by the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
Michigan Avenue in Streeterville
|South end||127th Street|
|North end||US 41 (Lake Shore Drive)|
The oldest section of Michigan Avenue is the portion that currently borders Grant Park in the Chicago Loop section of the city. The name came from Lake Michigan, which until 1871 was immediately east of Michigan Avenue. The street at that time ran north to the Chicago River and south to the city limits. Originally, Michigan Avenue was primarily residential, and by the 1860s, large homes and expensive row houses dominated Michigan Avenue.
At no point is Michigan Avenue currently called Michigan Boulevard, but prior to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the street was officially known as Michigan Boulevard and often referred to as "Boul Mich". But in the 1900-1907 Ads for the Chicago Musical College, the address was referred to as "202 Michigan Boul." As recently as the 1920s, North Michigan Avenue (especially the Magnificent Mile) was referred to as "Upper Boul Mich". Paris's Boulevard Saint-Michel is the original Boul Mich.
North of the Chicago River today's Michigan Avenue was known as Pine Street. In 1866 a small portion of Pine Street was "vacated" and moved eighty (80) feet further west of the original Pine street location to accommodate the installation of the new pumping station's standpipe. This standpipe, engineered to regulate water pressure, would be housed within architect William W. Boyington's castle structure (Water Tower) that still stands on that site today. In 1869 the Board of Public Works began paving Pine Street from Chicago Avenue to Whitney street (today, Walton street) the northern terminus, with Belgian wood blocks also known as Nicolson pavement.
Pine Street was renamed to Lincoln Park Boulevard as far south as Ohio Street when the street connected with Lake Shore Drive in the early 1890s, and then became part of Michigan Avenue, which already had the name Michigan Avenue (Michigan Boulevard before the Great Chicago Fire in 1871) south of the Chicago River. Both the North and South Michigan Avenues were joined physically with the opening of the Michigan Avenue bridge in 1920. In 1926, after years of clogged automobile traffic, the water tower and pumping station were separated by realigning Michigan Avenue to run between them.
In the Great Fire of 1871, all buildings on Michigan Avenue from Congress Street north to the river were destroyed. Immediately after the fire, the character of Michigan remained residential, but the street no longer was directly on the lake shore, as after the Fire, wreckage from the burnt district was used to fill in the inner harbor of Chicago, beginning the landfills that by the 1920s had moved the lake shore more than a quarter-mile east of its original shoreline, creating space for an expanded Grant Park. Beginning in the 1880s, the expansion of the central business district replaced houses on Michigan Avenue so that today, Michigan's character is primarily commercial north of 35th Street.
The first city showcase on Michigan Avenue was the Exposition Building, which was built on the current site of the Art Institute, the east side of Michigan at Adams, in 1874. By the 1890s, an imposing wall of buildings was constructed on the west side of Michigan Avenue downtown, including the Auditorium Building and the main branch of the Chicago Public Library (now the Chicago Cultural Center). As the east side of Michigan Avenue downtown was developed as a park, the wall of buildings lining the west side of Michigan Avenue across from the park became the nucleus of the city's skyline.
Michigan Avenue originally ended at the Chicago River, and what is now Michigan Avenue north of the river was originally named Pine Street, after scattered pine trees originally found in its vicinity. As early as 1891 plans were proposed to extend Michigan Avenue north across the river. An early plan called for a tunnel to link Michigan Avenue south of the river with Pine Street, and in 1903 an editorial in the Chicago Tribune newspaper proposed a new Bascule bridge across the river at Michigan Avenue.
This plan was further elaborated upon in Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago, and in 1911 a plan was selected that included the widening of Michigan Avenue from Randolph Street to the river, replacing the Rush Street bridge with a new bridge at Michigan Avenue and the construction of a double-decked boulevard along Pine Street as far as Ohio Street. When the Michigan Avenue Bridge was completed, Pine Street was renamed Michigan Avenue. At its north end it merges into Lake Shore Drive near the Drake Hotel.
Today, the area north of the Chicago River is referred to as the "Magnificent Mile", or sometimes simply the Mag Mile. It contains a mixture of upscale department stores, restaurants, high-end retailers, office buildings and hotels, and caters primarily to tourists and the affluent. The area also has a high concentration of the city's advertising agencies and major media firms, including the Chicago Tribune.
It is the home of Chicago's famous Water Tower landmark, Water Tower Park with its historic clock, as well as the eight-level Water Tower Place shopping center which grew up next door to, and overshadowed, the comparatively diminutive landmark. North of the shopping center can be found the famous John Hancock Center, the art deco Palmolive Building (also known as the Playboy Building) and the lavish Drake Hotel. The entire mile is noted for its spectacular Christmas displays. At the northern edge of this district can be found the One Magnificent Mile building; Chicago Landmark East Lake Shore Drive District, an extremely expensive and exclusive one-block area of real estate running east from North Michigan Avenue and facing directly onto Lake Michigan; and the on-ramp to northbound Lake Shore Drive.
For a few blocks on both sides of the Chicago River, the road is double-decked, including the bridge over the river. The lower level north of the river is where the famous Billy Goat Tavern is located, and south of the river it intersects with Lower Wacker Drive. On the upper lever, tall office buildings and hotels line both sides of the Avenue, until Millennium Park.
The portion of Michigan Avenue opposite Grant Park is the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District. Major cultural institutions, such as the Chicago Cultural Center, Symphony Center, and the Auditorium Theater are located here, as are many late 19th and early 20th century skyscrapers. In 2009, the Chicago Cultural Mile Association was created to bring "awareness of the unique strengths and diverse offerings available to visitors" in this portion of Michigan Avenue.
The Art Institute of Chicago is across the boulevard, in Grant Park along the Avenue. Several large historic hotels are located just south of Ida B. Wells Drive, including the Hilton Towers Chicago (formerly, the Stevens Hotel), the Congress Plaza Hotel and the Blackstone Hotel. Between them is the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.
The Avenue extends south into Near South Side, Chicago and beyond – past what was once the notorious Levee District, the graceful homes of the Prairie Avenue District, the historic Second Presbyterian Church, the former home of the legendary Chess Records at 2120 South Michigan and the site where the Lexington Hotel, a hideout of Al Capone, once stood.
South of Cermak Road is the Motor Row District, a historic strip along Michigan Avenue that was home to many early 20th century automobile "palaces." A point of interest in this area is the former Illinois Automobile Club, which later was used as the home of the Chicago Defender, a prominent African-American Chicago newspaper at 2400 South Michigan. A little bit further south is Bronzeville, a historic black community in Chicago. Points of interest include the historic Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, the Illinois College of Optometry and the South Side Community Art Center.
The intersection of Michigan Avenue and 35th Street is home to two important local institutions. On the northwest corner is De La Salle Institute, a Catholic high school which was attended by future Chicago mayors Richard J. Daley, Richard M. Daley, and Michael Bilandic. On the southwest corner is the Chicago Police Department Headquarters. Michigan Avenue continues through the South Side and dead ends at 63rd Street, just north of a rail yard and parking lots.
The Avenue continues heading south at 66th Street to Marquette Road, where it moves a half-block to the east back into alignment with the run north of 63rd Street. It then continues south to 89th Street where it dead ends once again for a housing subdivision and a railroad line. It resumes at 91st Street heading south through the working class Roseland community, featuring a large commercial strip along Michigan between 111th and 115th streets. The street dead ends again at 127th Street just before the Cal-Sag Channel. It begins again in the south suburb of Riverdale before finally terminating at Sibley Boulevard or IL RT-83.
The CTA Red Line's Chicago and Grand stations are useful for reaching the Magnificent Mile. The Jackson station is close to the Art Institute, as are Loop stations on the Brown, Pink and Blue lines. Millennium and Van Buren Street Stations are located along Michigan Avenue serving the Metra Electric and South Shore Lines. The avenue is also traversed by a multitude of bus routes and taxi cabs primarily in the Downtown and Magnificent Mile areas.
900 North Michigan in Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois, is a skyscraper completed in 1989. At 871 feet (265 m) tall, it is currently the eighth-tallest building in Chicago and the 31st-tallest in the United States. It was developed by Urban Retail Properties in 1988 as an upscale sister to Water Tower Place, one block southeast, and was the second vertical mall built along the Magnificent Mile.
The building features a large, upscale shopping mall called 900 North Michigan Shops. Bloomingdale's occupies the rear of its wide, six-story atrium, with other luxury shops and restaurants filling the remaining spaces. For this reason, it is commonly referred to as the "Bloomingdale's Building". The mall opened with Henri Bendel as a "junior anchor". The layout of the retail area reflects lessons learned from Water Tower Place; the anchor's placement at the rear draws shoppers through the space and creates leasable space with valuable Michigan Avenue frontage, while the arrangement of escalators in parallel, rather than in zig-zags, directs foot traffic past more shops.
Offices originally occupied floors 8–29, but floors 21–29 were converted to condo units in 2007, leaving offices on floors 8–20. The luxurious Four Seasons Hotel occupies the middle floors (30–46) of the tower. Floors 47–66 are part of the 132 East Delaware Residences, these 106 condominiums were part of the original building plan. A large 12-story parking garage, with retail on the ground level and a medical clinic atop, occupies the rear half of the block, facing Rush Street.
The exterior of the tower is clad in limestone and green glass which reflects the light. The building has a steel skeleton on which a concrete frame was erected for the upper floors. Because the building materials changed, cranes used to work on the lower floors could not be used for the concrete portion and new cranes had to be erected to complete the building. Four lit "lanterns" atop the structure give it a distinctive skyline presence. They change colors for the Christmas season.American Writers Museum
The American Writers Museum is a museum of American Literature and writing that opened in Chicago in May 2017. The museum was designed by Amaze Design of Boston.The American museum was inspired by the Dublin Writers Museum.Chicago Avenue Pumping Station
The Chicago Avenue Pumping Station is a historic district contributing property in the Old Chicago Water Tower District landmark district. It is located on Michigan Avenue along the Magnificent Mile shopping district in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois. It is on the east side of Michigan Avenue opposite the Chicago Water Tower.
The pumping station was built in 1869 by architect William W. Boyington. In 1918, when Pine Street was widened, the plans were altered in order to give the Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station a featured location.Harlan Community Academy High School
John Marshall Harlan Community Academy High School is a public 4-year high school and middle school. Harlan is located in the Roseland Community Area in the south side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. The school is a part of the Chicago Public Schools system. Opened in 1958, the school is named for Kentucky lawyer, politician and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Marshall Harlan. In addition to being a neighborhood high school, Harlan serves middle school grades seventh and eighth.Henry Ives Cobb
Henry Ives Cobb (August 19, 1859 – March 27, 1931) was an architect from the United States. Based in Chicago in the last decades of the 19th century, he was known for his designs in the Richardsonian Romanesque and Victorian Gothic styles.Hilton Chicago
The Hilton Chicago is a centrally-located luxury hotel in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The hotel is a Chicago landmark that overlooks Grant Park, Lake Michigan, and the Museum Campus. It is the third-largest hotel in Chicago by number of guest rooms; however, it has the largest total meeting and event space of any Chicago hotel. Every sitting president of the United States has been housed in the hotel before leaving office since its opening in 1927.Il Popolo del Blues
Il Popolo del Blues is an Italian radio program founded in 1995, created and led by the Italian journalist Ernesto De Pascale (RAI, Jam, La Nazione, Rolling Stone Italia, Record Collector, Popolare Network), named by the BBC “the Italian John Peel”. The radio show is broadcast every Saturday 8 p.m. on Controradio (in Tuscany, Italy) and every Sunday 9 p.m. on Popolare Network (nationwide).Jack Brickhouse (sculpture)
Jack Brickhouse is an outdoor sculpture dedicated to the American sports commentator of the same name, installed along Michigan Avenue, near the Chicago River bridge, in Chicago, Illinois. The bust was originally dedicated in 2000, and renovated in 2009.Lesya Ukrainka
Lesya Ukrainka (Ukrainian: Леся Українка) (born Larysa Petrivna Kosach-Kvitka (Ukrainian: Лариса Петрівна Косач-Квітка) (February 25 [O.S. February 13] 1871 – August 1 [O.S. July 19] 1913) is one of Ukrainian literature's foremost writers, best known for her poems and plays. She also was an active political, civil, and feminist activist.Among her most well-known works are the collections of poems On the wings of songs (1893), Thoughts and Dreams (1899), Echos (1902), the epic poem Ancient fairy tale (1893), One word (1903), plays Princess (1913), Cassandra (1903—1907), In the Catacombs (1905), and Forest song (1911).London Guarantee Building
The London Guarantee Building or London Guaranty & Accident Building is a historic 1923 commercial skyscraper whose primary occupant since 2016 is the LondonHouse Chicago Hotel Formerly, for a time named the Stone Container Building, it is located near the Loop in Chicago, and is one of four 1920s skyscrapers that surround the Michigan Avenue Bridge (the others are the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and 333 North Michigan Avenue) and is a contributing property to the Michigan–Wacker Historic District. It stands on part of the former site of Fort Dearborn. The building was designated a Chicago Landmark on April 16, 1996.Michigan Avenue
Michigan Avenue may refer to:
Michigan Avenue (Chicago)
Michigan Avenue (Michigan), a designation for much of both current and former U.S. Route 12 in Michigan
Michigan Avenue (Lansing, Michigan), a street through the State Capitol area, a portion of which is M-143Old Chicago Water Tower District
The Old Chicago Water Tower District is a historic district along the Magnificent Mile shopping district in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois. The district is located on both sides of North Michigan Avenue between East Chicago and East Pearson Streets. It includes the Chicago Water Tower, Chicago Avenue Pumping Station, and Chicago Fire Department Fire Station No. 98. All three structures are part of the Chicago Landmark district designated on October 6, 1971 (amended June 10, 1981). The Water Tower and Pumping Station were jointly added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 23, 1975. In addition the Tower was named an American Water Landmark in 1969. The Water Tower was also one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire. The district is the namesake of the nearby Water Tower Place.Palmolive Building
The Palmolive Building, formerly the Playboy Building, is a 37-storey Art Deco building at 919 N. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Built by Holabird & Root, it was completed in 1929 and was home to the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet corporation.
The Palmolive Building was renamed the Playboy Building in 1965 when Playboy Enterprises purchased the leasehold of the building. It was home to the editorial and business offices of Playboy magazine from that time until 1989 when Playboy moved its offices to 680 N Lake Shore Drive. Playboy had sold the leasehold in 1980 and signed a 10-year lease that expired in 1990. The new leaseholder renamed the building 919 North Michigan Avenue.During the time that Playboy was in the building, the word P-L-A-Y-B-O-Y was spelled out in 9-foot (2.7 m) illuminated letters. The building was designated a Chicago Landmark in 2000, and it was added to the federal National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
In 2001, the building was sold to developer Draper and Kramer who, with Booth Hansen Architects, converted it to residential use with the first two floors dedicated to upscale office and retail space. High-end condos make up the rest of the building. The new owners restored the building's name to the Palmolive Building. The business address remains 919 North Michigan Avenue; however, the residential address is 159 East Walton Street. Notable residents of the building include Vince Vaughn, who bought a 12,000-square-foot triplex penthouse encompassing the 35th, 36th and 37th floors for $12 million. In February 2013, Vaughn offered the penthouse for sale as a pocket listing for $24.9 million. However, after multiple price cuts he chose in May 2016 to divide the unit in two, offering one for $8.5 million, and the other smaller unit for $4.2 million.Railway Exchange Building (Chicago)
The Railway Exchange Building, also known as Santa Fe Building, is a 17-story office building in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District of the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It was designed by Frederick P. Dinkelberg of D. H. Burnham & Company in the Chicago style. Dinkelberg was also the associate designer to Daniel Burnham for the Flatiron Building in New York City.
The building is recognizable by the large "Motorola" logo on the roof, which is visible from Grant Park across Michigan Ave and from Lake Michigan. It is also notable for the round, porthole-like windows along the cornice. The center of the building features a lightwell, which was covered with a skylight in the 1980s.Robert Davol Budlong
Robert Davol Budlong (1902–1955) was an American industrial designer from Denver, Colorado.
He studied art at Cummings School of Art in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated from Grinnell College, Iowa in 1921. This was followed by further study at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
He started his design career in 1933, with the Hammond Clock Company and, in 1934-1935, became a design consultant with Zenith Radio. This involvement with Zenith was to last until his death.
He designed many of Zenith's pre-war portable radios, and virtually their entire "Trans-Oceanic" line. His other radio designs included a "universal portable" AC/DC radio with batteries (1940), the "Poket" radio in 1941, and the "Transoceanic Clipper" in 1942. Although Zenith wanted him to work full-time as an employee, and head an in-house industrial design group, Budlong wished to remain independent to retain other clients. However, he did relocate his offices to the Zenith building on 333 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, that housed Zenith's corporate showrooms.
His other major clients included Sunbeam, Sears-Roebuck, and Victor Cash Register. For Sunbeam, he designed the T-20 Toaster in 1950 - a newer type of appliance that lowered bread automatically, and raised itself silently when done - and worked with Sunbeam staff designer Ivar Jepson on the "Shavemaster" (1950) electric shaver. This model had a smooth, rounded head and an ergonomic shape to be held in the palm of the hand, rather than the previous elongated shape held like a hammer.
Budlong's business was taken over after his death in 1955 by one of his associates, Ken Schory Sr. and renamed Ken Schory Associates.Sky lobby
A sky lobby is an intermediate interchange floor where people can change from an express elevator that stops only at the sky lobby to a local elevator which stops at every floor within a segment of the building. When designing very tall (supertall) buildings, supplying enough elevators is a problem – travellers wanting to reach a specific higher floor may conceivably have to stop at a very large number of other floors on the way up to let other passengers off and on. This increases travel time, and indirectly requires many more elevator shafts to still allow acceptable travel times – thus reducing effective floor space on each floor for all levels. The other main technique to increase usage without adding more elevator shafts is double-deck elevators.
Early uses of the sky lobby include the original Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and 875 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.The Columbian (Chicago)
The Columbian is a 517-foot-tall (158 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It was constructed from 2005 to 2008 and has 47 floors, 225 units and four elevators. It is the tallest brick-clad building, and 76th tallest building, in Chicago.Warwick Allerton - Chicago
The Warwick Allerton - Chicago (formerly Allerton Hotel and Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago and Allerton Crowne Plaza Hotel) is a 25-story 360 ft (110 m) hotel skyscraper on the Magnificent Mile in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois. It was the first building in the city to feature pronounced setbacks and towers resulting from the 1923 zoning law. The building was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 29, 1998.When the Allerton Hotel first opened, it had fourteen floors of small apartment-style rooms for men and six similar floors for women, with a total of 1,000 rooms. The hotel also boasted social events, gold, sports leagues, a library, solarium, and an in-house magazine. An early resident was Louis Skidmore, founder of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
In the 1940s and 1950s, the hotel housed a swanky lounge on its top floor, called the "Tip Top Tap". Although the lounge closed in 1961, the sign proclaiming its existence is still displayed on the building's exterior. By 1963, the room was home to a new restaurant, the Cloud Room, when Don McNeill moved his broadcast of Don McNeill's Breakfast Club to the location. While the show was broadcast from the Allerton, McNeill's guests included regular Fran Allison.After the Allerton Hotel was declared a Chicago landmark, it closed in August 1998 through May 1999 for a $40 million renovation. The firm of Eckenhoff Saunders Architects oversaw restoration work which restored the hotel's bygone grandeur and upgraded mechanical systems. When the hotel reopened as the Allerton Crowne Plaza Hotel, the twenty-third floor, which previously housed the Tip Top Tap and the Cloud Room, became the Renaissance Ballroom and a lounge opened on the second floor called Taps on Two featuring one of the Tip Top Tap's signature drinks, a Moscow mule.In November 2006, a partnership of Oxford Lodging and Perry Capital purchased the hotel from FelCor Lodging for $70 million. The new owners ended the affiliation with Crowne Plaza and on February 2, 2007, the property was re-christened The Allerton Hotel. Shortly after the purchase, Oxford announced further renovations to the property.In March 2014, Warwick International Hotels, a New York-based hotel chain, purchased the Allerton and renamed it the "Warwick Allerton Hotel". Warwick acquired the Allerton from New York-based hedge fund manager Petra Capital Management LLC, which won a 2012-battle for control of the property in bankruptcy court. The new owners are planning renovations which may include reopening the Tip Top Tap on the hotel's 23rd floor.