Legend has it Lakeview East got it’s name from “Hotel Lake View,” built on the lake shore in 1853 by James H. Rees and E. E. Hundley. The owners were standing on the hotel’s portico trying to decide upon the right name when Walter L. Newberry, delighted with the unbroken view of the lake from the building, proposed the name.
Soon after this, a cholera epidemic hit Chicago and many residents fled to the countryside near the hotel to escape the disease. Hotel Lake View was soon crowded to capacity. Many of the refugees were so fascinated by the country air and view of the lake that they remained to purchase nearby homesteads.
Because no roads were laid out reaching the area a plank road from Fullerton north to just a little beyond Graceland (Irving Park Road) was built. Perhaps the granddaddy of our suburban highways, this plank road built by Rees, Hundley, S.S. Hayes, and others gave impetus to the development of the nearby settlements. It was called “Lake View Plank Road,” now Broadway.
In the 1880′s industry arrived in what had previously been a truck farming region, known as the celery capitol of the world. By 1887 the town of Lake View was incorporated into the city and in 1889 it would be annexed to Chicago’s real estate boom, where 43 percent of Lakeview East’s present residences were constructed. A large shopping area at Clark Street and Diversey Pkwy emerged to service the quickly growing populations, beginning what is now the Lakeview East business district on Broadway and Clark Streets.
The Century Shopping Centre – Historic Shopping
Recent redevelopment of the building, now known as The Century Shopping Centre, consisted of the renovation of the mall’s interior and the refurbishing of the mall’s exterior, including the restoration of the building’s Arabesque facade and grand marquee. With the addition of the city’s only specialty theater complex and a more upscale mix of retail stores, The Century has become a major player among the city’s top entertainment and shopping destinations.
Hawthorne Place District – a Chicago Historic District
Hawthorne Place is one of the few streets along the city’s north shore that was developed for-and has largely retained-large residences on large lots. After a shoreline drive began to be constructed in the 1890s, the McConnell brothers created large lots to attract buyers who wanted proximity to downtown but with larger yards than typically found in the city. Both brothers built their own homes on the street and set the tone for subsequent development, which includes works by such architects as Burnham & Root and Pond & Pond. The openness of the district makes it an oasis between the density of the Broadway retail district and the high-rises along Lake Shore Drive.
Brewster Apartments – Creative Housing Landmark
The principles of skeleton-frame construction, which made possible tall commercial skyscrapers at the end of the 19th century, were used here for an early high-rise apartment building that originally was known as the Lincoln Park Palace. Behind its heavy masonry walls is an exceptionally innovative interior, a light-and-airy construction of cast-iron stairs, elevator cages, bridge walkways paved with glass blocks, and a massive skylight.
Alta Vista Terrace Historic Center
The Alta Vista Terrace District is a historic district in the Lakeview East community. The district was built in 1904 in imitation of the rowhouse style of London. The development was the work of Samuel Gross. He was inspired to build Alta Vista Terrace after a trip to Europe, in which he looked at the row houses of London. The street is one block long and contains 40 small, single-family rowhouses, each on a lot about 24 feet wide and 40 feet deep. There were 20 different exterior styles based on various adaptations of architectural styles. Some of the features included Doric and Ionic wood wood pilasters, gothic arches, Palladian windows, stained and leaded glass fanlights, bay and bow windows and various decorative woodwork. Alta Vista Terrace is found at 1050 West on the Chicago street grid, running north from Grace Street (3800 North) to Byron Street (3900 North).
Belmont-Sheffield Trust and Savings Bank Building
The Belmont-Sheffield Trust and Savings Bank Building is a six-story building built in 1928 at 1001 W. Belmont Ave. The building was designed by architect John Nyden and is on the National Register of Historical Places. It was constructed in a U-shape around a two-story central atrium, which allowed light to reach the bank lobby—the glass atrium has since been roofed over. When the building was first completed, it held the Belmont-Sheffield Trust and Savings Bank on the first floor and part of the second; offices on the rest of the second floor and on the third floor; and the Montfield Hotel (address 3146 N. Sheffield) on floors four through six. However, the bank closed on June 24, 1932, due to financial difficulty following the Great Depression. The bank portion of the building then remained vacant until World War II, when local rationing board 40-46 took over the space. The building also housed the Lake View Citizens’ Council in the 1950s. It struggled with vacancy until 1984, when a developer received a federal loan to convert the Montfield Hotel into 54 apartments, maintaining stores on the ground floor. The building was sold again to another developer and the upper floors converted into loft condos in 2005, which are now listed at the address 3150 N. Sheffield. In 2008, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks designated the building a landmark along with 15 other neighborhood bank buildings.
42nd Precinct/Town Hall Police Station
The 42nd Precinct/Town Hall Police Station, located in Lakeview, is one of the oldest and most architecturally significant extant historic police station buildings in Chicago. It was constructed in 1907 on the site of Lake View Township’s Town Hall and subsequently has been commonly referred to as the “Town Hall Police Station.” Only three older police station buildings are extant in Chicago. The 42nd Precinct/Town Hall Police Station also is significant as a finely-designed Classical Revival-style police station. Distinguished by its symmetrical façade arrangement, classically-inspired ornament, and distinctive copper cornice, this well-preserved police station exemplifies the influence of Classicism on the architecture of government and public buildings in Chicago in the early twentieth century.
Meekerville Historic District
The Meekerville Historic District is a historic district in the Lakeview East community. It is composed of residential contributing properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Chicago. Addresses including the facade of 333 W. Wellington Ave., 344 W. Wellington Ave., the facade of 325 W. Wellington Ave., and the rear courtyard of 325 W. Wellington Ave.