The fabled Gold Coast in Chicago’s Near North Side has always been synonymous with luxury living. When it sprung in the early 20th century, the neighborhood served as a hideaway for affluent industrialists who wanted to escape the tireless downtown. Although modern-day Gold Coast is no longer disconnected from the rest of the city, it’s still very much a handsome neighborhood reserved for Chicago’s wealthiest.
What to love
- Architectural gems
Gold Coast’s earlier residents spared no expense in creating magnificent lakefront homes. Fine samples of Gilded Age and modern American architecture are sprinkled throughout the neighborhood, most notably along Astor Street. Charles-Pernsky House is one such property, designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, his apprentice at the time. Patterson-McCormick Mansion is another architecturally significant property in Gold Coast. Inspired by the Italian Renaissance, it now houses luxury condos.
- High-end shopping
East Oak Street, where retail spaces now stand in lieu of residences, is one of Chicago’s luxury shopping destinations. Some of the designer brands and national retailers here include Hermès, Prada, Barneys New York, Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani, and Loro Piana. The Magnificent Mile also runs through a part of the Gold Coast, adding more options to an already fantastic shopping selection
- Local curiosities
Looking for something out of the ordinary in Gold Coast? The International Museum of Surgical Science along Lake Shore Drive offers a peek into the surgical arts. Experiential and interactive art exhibits are constantly on display at Lighthouse ArtSpace. At Sparrow, you can sip on classy martinis while admiring Art Deco interior design and architecture that dates back to 1927. And for those who want to learn more about their family history, the Newberry Library is the place to go.
Real estate snapshot
Old and new residential properties stand side by side in the Gold Coast. Most historic mansions have been converted into upscale doorman condos and apartments, as well as vintage co-ops. Several contemporary high-rises tower over the neighborhood, offering the best views of Lake Michigan. The median listing price in the Gold Coast is around $599,000, with properties spending approximately 90 days on the market.
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