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Streeterville is a neighborhood in the Near North Sidemarker community area of , United States, north of the Chicago Rivermarker in Cook Countymarker. It is bounded by the river on the south, the Magnificent Mile portion of Michigan Avenuemarker on the west, and Lake Michiganmarker on the north and east. Thus, it can be described as the Magnificent Mile plus all land east of it. The majority of the land in this neighborhood is reclaimed landfill and sandbar.

The neighborhood contains a combination of hotels, restaurants, professional office centers, residential high rises, universities, medical facilities, and cultural venues. The area has undergone increased development in the early 21st century as numerous empty lots in Streeterville have been converted into commercial and residential properties, especially in the southern part of the neighborhood. The neighborhood had earlier experienced booms following World War I and World War II.


The original maps of the city of Chicago show that Lake Michigan once came ashore near what is now Michigan Avenue north of the Chicago River. In 1834, a pier was built where the mouth of the river once was. Silt and sand accumulated north of this pier, creating usable land that was later nicknamed "The Sands". Squatters and a vice district encroached on the district causing angst among the property owners. In 1857, Chicago Mayor John Wentworth evicted these trespassers from the land.

In the late 1880s, George Streeter began his efforts to steal shoreline land from its rightful owners. He persisted in these efforts for decades, lying, stealing, forging and killing in his scheming. He claimed that his boat hit a sandbar just off the Chicago shoreline during a storm. That he and his wife made the stranded boat their new home. Meanwhile, landfill dumped in an effort to create land on which to build Lake Shore Drivemarker by the Lincoln Park Board created s of new land along the lake front, which Streeter attempted to claim. Streeter clearly lied about his discovery of the "District of Lake Michigan". A storm did not smash Streeter's ship into a sandbar on the night of July 10, 1886. Weather reports for that night make no mention of a storm. Streeter did not really believe that he could fill in the shoreline and legally claim the new land; a witness in Streeter's 1902 land fraud trial testified that Streeter had purposely set out to contest the claims of the wealthy shoreline owners. Contractor Hank Brusser told the court that Streeter asked him to fill in portions of the shoreline in order to create confusion over land titles. According to Brusser, Streeter said that: "They (the owners of the shoreline) will have to buy us off" and that "We'll get a million out of it".

The local press became enamored with the story of Streeter's brash personality and his self-proclaimed district. Mayor William Hale Thompson tried to evict the Streeters for selling liquor, and after several eviction attempts and gun battles, Streeter landed in jail. In 1918, the courts invalidated his claim of sovereignty. Today, the district is home to some of the most expensive real estate in Chicago.

The 1920 opening of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, which was part of the efforts to enact the Burnham Plan of 1909, as well as the economic boom of the 1920s, brought wealth to the eastern sector of the Near North Side and paved the way for a luxury shopping district on North Michigan Avenue. Investors built high-rise apartment buildings such as those in the East Lake Shore Drive Historic Districtmarker, and elaborate hotels. The Bridge connected to a North Michigan avenue that served as a replacement for the former Pine Street which hosted warehouses and factory buildings near the river, and large mansions and rowhouses in northward sections in the neighborhoods of McCormickville and Streeterville. Magnificent Mile architecture during the economic boom of the 1920s emphasized historicist architectural styles such as Beaux-Arts classicism, Gothic revival, and vertical-style modernism. The buildings redefined the Chicago skyline with stylistic variation that gave new meaning to urban context and design compatibility.

A post-World War II construction surge occurred in the area, and in the 1950s, the city pursued a plan of urban renewal. A local real estate developer named Arthur Rubloff led the revitalization of North Michigan Avenue under the banner of “The Magnificent Mile.” The success of this effort spurred the erection of more high-rise apartments and new investment in the Near North Side. This development led to the "canyonization" of Michigan Avenue, where the buildings on both sides of the street tower above creating an urban "canyon".


Although there is general agreement that Streeterville is bounded on the west by the Magnificent Mile, some, including the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, claim the boundary extends to one block further to the west to Rush Street. The neighborhood has a reputation as part of an upscale residential strip that balances the more industrial western portion of the Near North Side. Streeterville houses some of Chicago's tallest skyscrapers and most upscale stores, hotels, restaurants and theaters, as well as Northwestern Universitymarker's Feinberg School of Medicine, School of Continuing Studies, School of Lawmarker, part of its Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicagomarker's downtown campus of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Loyola University Chicagomarker has two buildings on Rush Street as part of what the school calls its Water Tower Campus. The Magnificent Mile portion of Michigan Avenue is part of Streeterville, as are Navy Piermarker, the most visited attraction in Chicago, and the John Hancock Observatorymarker, the eighth-most visited attraction in Chicago. In 2007, construction started on Chicago's new tallest skyscraper, the Chicago Spiremarker. It will be located in the southeastern corner of the neighborhood, next to Lake Shore Drivemarker, and is scheduled to be completed in late 2010.

The Spire is one of many modern developments in the neighborhood. In the early 21st century, much of the southern part of the neighborhood that had previously housed several empty lots has undergone development, including the River East Center east of Columbus Drivemarker. The River East Art Center serves as the primary retail hub apart from the Magnificent Mile. South Streeterville currently has numerous skyscrapers that are either proposed or already under construction such as Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Residence Tower, InterContinental Chicago, 560 North Fairbanks, 600 Lake Shore Drive, Streeter Place and 630 North McClurg Court, which complement the River East Center, and NBC Towermarker. The Prentice Women's Hospital opened in October 2007, and construction started on the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago in April 2008.

Streeterville hosts several landmarks and designated places that have been designated as historic districts. The East Lake Shore Drive Historic Districtmarker, which consists of a row of early 20th century luxury apartments, sits on the northern edge of the district opposite Lake Michigan. The Old Chicago Water Tower Districtmarker is located along Michigan Avenue where Streeterville meets the border of the River North and Gold Coast marker neighborhoods at Chicago Avenue. The Water Tower District contains the only public buildings that survived the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. Also, part of the Michigan–Wacker Historic Districtmarker lies within Streeterville at the southern end of the Magnificent Mile and contains numerous high rises and skyscrapers built in the 1920s.

The neighborhood hosts several individual landmarks. The neighborhood hosts a National Historic Landmark, the Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesitemarker, the home of the first settler in Chicago. Properties in the neighborhood listed in the National Register of Historic Places include 257 East Delaware, the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartmentsmarker, the Drake Hotel, the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, the Navy Piermarker and the Palmolive Buildingmarker. Other Chicago Landmarks in the neighborhood include Allerton Hotelmarker, Farwell Buildingmarker, McGraw-Hill Building, Perkins, Fellows & Hamilton Office and Studio, Tribune Towermarker, and the Woman's Athletic Club. Notable building in the district include the skyscrapers on the Magnificent Mile:
John Hancock Centermarker ( )
900 North Michiganmarker ( )
Water Tower Placemarker ( )
Park Tower ( )
Olympia Centremarker ( )
One Magnificent Milemarker ( )
Chicago Placemarker ( )
Palmolive Buildingmarker ( ).

Non-Michigan Avenue skyscrapers in the neighborhood include the following:
North Pier Apartmentsmarker ( )
Onterie Centermarker ( )
Elysées Condominiums ( )
401 East Ontariomarker ( )
The Streeter ( )
400 East Ohio Streetmarker ( ).

Some of the notable buildings in the district that have not been designated are Wrigley Buildingmarker and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicagomarker.

The neighborhood hosts more than 25 hotels, including the Ritz Carlton, one of three five star hotels in the Midwestern United States, and the historic Drake Hotel. The Peninsula Hotel, another of the three five star hotels in the Midwestern United States, and the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, the other of the Midwestern five star hotels are located in the neighborhood near Rush Street. These two hotels host the highest rated spas in Illinois.


Qatar Airways operates an office in Suite 1310 at the John Hancock Centermarker.

Playboy Enterprises' offices are on the 15th and 16th floors of 680 N.marker Lake Shore Drivemarker.

Several consulates are in Streeterville. Countries with consulates include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, Greece, Japan, Lithuania, and Switzerland.


The Chicago River provides aquatic vehicular passage along the southern edge of the neighborhood and Navy Pier accommodates commercial water traffic. Streeterville is also accessible via Lake Shore Drivemarker with multiple direct exits in both directions. In addition, the Chicago 'L' has a stops at Chicagomarker and Grandmarker stations on the Red Line, which runs along State Street immediately to the west of the neighborhood. From the Kennedy Expressway the Ohio Street exit feeds into Streeterville. Numerous Chicago Transit Authority bus routes run within the neighborhood, especially along Michigan Avenue.

See also


  1. Salzmann, Joshua,Journal of Illinois History, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Autumn 2006, pg.201 Vol. 9 Number 3
  2. Ma' Streeter Fights for Chicago Lands, The New York Times, page 23 column 4, May 27, 1924
  3. Clash in Streeter Trial, The Chicago Tribune, page 7 column 3, July 10, 1902
  4. Wagner, Robert. (1978-02-03) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Michigan–Wacker Historic District, National Park Service, p.11
  5. " Chicago." Qatar Airways. Retrieved on February 9, 2009.
  6. " Consular Information." Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina Washington, D.C.. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  7. " Holidays." Consulate-General of Bulgaria in Chicago. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  8. " Oficinas Consulares en Estados Unidos." Embassy of Chile in Washington, D.C. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  9. Home page. Consulate-General of Denmark in Chicago. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  10. " Contact Us." Consulate-General of Greece in Chicago. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  11. Home Page. Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  12. " Consular Information." Embassy of Lithuania in Washington, D.C.. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  13. " Consulate General Chicago." Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.

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