Streeterville

“Streeterville” can be found east from the Lakefront to Michigan Avenue and south from Illinois Street to eastbound Lake Shore Drive.

This affluent neighborhood got its start in 1886. It was then that the land east of Michigan Avenue and north of the Chicago River was literally created by Captain George Wellington Streeter. Captain Streeter was an adventurer who had outfitted a boat for gunrunning in the south, and eventually run it aground in Lake Michigan on a sand bar near what is now Superior Street.

He stayed on the boat where it was beached and convinced city contractors to dump hard fill (and anything else they could get their hands on) in the area surrounding his boat. Captain Streeter laid claim to the 186-acre tract that he’d managed to create and called it the “Free District of Lake Michigan,” an independent territory.

He sold lots and survived skirmishes with the police until 1918, when he was finally evicted. A far cry from its humble beginnings, the housing in Streeterville now consists mainly of highrise condominiums. It is home to the Art Institute of Chicago, Grant Park, the Museum Campus, and is but a stone’s throw from Northwestern University’s hospital campus, the Loyola Law School, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, and the Loop.

With Michigan Avenue as its western border, Streeterville also features many of the city’s (and the world’s) finest hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments.