Fred Latsko Provides a History of the Gold Coast of Chicago

Across the United States, there are plenty of historical landmarks and iconic locations. One such location is known as the Gold Coast, located in the northeast corner of Chicago. This area, aside from its memorable scenery, holds a rich and interesting history. 

Fred Latsko, the owner and CEO of Latsko Interests, Chicago’s premier full-service real estate development and management company, has the details surrounding the history of the Gold Coast of Chicago, including exactly where the name came from.

The Early Years

Initially, the Gold Coast was known as the Astor Street District. The district was named after one of the wealthiest men in America at the time, John Jacob Astor. His status planted the seeds for other wealthy individuals to live in the area as well. Additionally, the Gold Coast also traces its roots to a surprising event: the great Chicago fire of 1871. The combination of a majority of wooden structures alongside extremely dry weather conditions resulted in a fire that lasted two days, destroying more than three square miles of land and displacing 100,000 people. Nonetheless, it was this event that spurred on the origins of the Gold Coast, as not long after, a millionaire named Potter Palmer moved to the area in which the Gold Coast is located today.

Lake Shore Drive and Other Developments

Palmer was instrumental in the development of the Gold Coast, but before the Gold Coast came to be, another famous Chicago location, Lake Shore Drive, was under development. What was once considered worthless land covered in swamps was quickly converted into a scenic highway that stretched along the coastline, dotted with attractions all along the way. Lake Shore Drive continued to add to the interest of the wealthy, causing more and more of them to take an interest in the pre-Gold-Coast area. Finishing off this rapid set of developments was the construction of the Palmer Mansion, a lavish dwelling that spanned an entire block in the city.

Earning its Title

As Potter Palmer continued to turn the Gold Coast into more and more of a standout amongst other American towns and cities, soon other wealthy individuals decided to follow suit. More and more large-style homes were constructed with the intention of imitating the style of Palmer’s. Eventually, as more and more mansions cropped up along the coastline, the Gold Coast earned its name from both the large span of high-end architecture as well as an ever-increasing number of wealthy individuals residing within these houses and mansions. The Gold Coast quickly became known for much more than these factors, says Fred Latsko, with an entire culture developing that was centered around the glitz and glamor of wealthy living.

The Gold Coast Today

Perhaps the only significant change seen in the Gold Coast of Chicago is the gradual shift away from luxurious mansions in order to make room for apartment buildings. While these historic homes are not as common to see as they once were, you may be able to procure one for sale, as many of them are still being used today.

Today, says Fred Latsko the Gold Coast is still one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Chicago, as well as in the entirety of the United States. Ranked as the seventh richest out of all the urban areas in the U.S., the area has only seen massive growth in the decades since its inception. Aside from the breathtaking architecture, you can expect to find dazzling high-end restaurants, high-class shopping centers, and a highly-energetic nightlife, all against the backdrop of the always-memorable Chicago beaches. Overall, whether you are just visiting or planning to take up residence in the Gold Coast, you’ll be sure to get swept up in the culture of glamorous enjoyment.

Final Thoughts from Fred Latsko

The Gold Coast of Chicago represents an area with a unique history. What once began as undesirable swampland rapidly changed into so much more than a place that is merely livable. Thanks to the outpour of investments from the wealthy, it has truly become a place where individuals can enjoy the high life, whether it is through the places they live or the activities they enjoy.

Fred Latsko has over 20 years of experience in developing and managing properties in Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Colorado, California, and Florida, with the majority of these properties situated in Chicago’s prominent Gold Coast. His proficient staff continues to grow a strong, carefully selected portfolio of properties in premium, metropolitan locations, leading to profitable growth opportunities.

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