Margaret Finegan
Phone: 312 261 0077
Mobile: 773 502 1673
Toll Free: 7735021673
Pager: 7735021673
Fax: 7735021673

  Keller Wiliiams Luxury Home Real Estate Specialist

During the last half of the nineteenth century, the rural beachfront north of Chicago was a favorite recreational destination for the city's elite.  Residential development began in the 1860's and grew as commuter rail service extended north from the city early in the twentieth century.

By the 1920's, Uptown had developed a bustling retail and entertainment district, rivaled only by downtown. The Gold Coast, as its wealthy residents called Uptown, boasted 11 theaters, 36 hotels, and beautiful mansions. Three of these theaters–the Uptown, Riviera, and Aragon Ballroom–still stand.

In its zenith, Uptown was the hub of café society and entertainment in the Midwest. The film industry began and thrived in Uptown at Essanay Studios on Argyle Street. Before the studios moved to Hollywood, Uptown was the home of well known entertainment figures including Gloria Swanson, Douglas Fairbanks, and, briefly, Charlie Chaplin. Frank Sinatra got his break singing at the Aragon.

Uptown's housing stock suffered after World War II. Relaxed standards encouraged division of large residential units into smaller units to meet an increased housing demand. The neighborhoods further declined in 1960, when 25% of Uptown's historic housing was lost to fire in a single year.

During the 60's and 70's, large numbers of low-income residents poured into Uptown seeking jobs in Chicago manufacturing. Urban renewal projects, including large institutions, displaced residents and removed many historic structures.

Fortunately, much of Uptown's architectural legacy remains. Increased appreciation of our architectural heritage and our proximity to lake Michigan have attracted new residents and businesses. Residential and commercial areas are being revitalized with care to preserve our rich past and plan for the future.