6 Things to Know About the Gold Coast

Since winter’s not exactly sunbathing weather, we won’t suggest a visit to one of our favorite local hangouts, Oak Street Beach. Still, there’s plenty to do indoors in Chicago’s Gold Coast, often cited as the country’s second wealthiest neighborhood (after Manhattan’s Upper East Side). Sigh…Second City again!

1. If you’re a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, take a noontime tour of the Charnley-Persky House Museum, available on Wednesdays (free) and Saturdays ($10). Although the great Louis Sullivan designed the house, a certain junior draftsman in his firm with the initials FLW did work on the project too.

exterior - David SchalliolPhoto Courtesy of David Schalliol

2. Primary season is in full swing, which makes this the perfect time to check out the Museum of Contemporary Art and its show Kathryn Andrews: Run for President. Still, we’re guessing she’s a long shot for the nomination—for either party.

Image 4Installation view, Kathryn Andrews: Run for President, MCA Chicago. Nov 21, 2015—May 8, 2016. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

3. Rush Street is one of the city’s oldest roads—parts of it retrace an old Indian trail that led north to Green Bay, Wisconsin. It’s also always been an A-list street: The first mayor of Chicago, William Ogden, built his house on it.

William_B_Ogden_by_GPA_Healy,_1855William B. Ogden by George Peter Alexander Healy, 1855. Located at Chicago Historical Society, courtesy of Encyclopedia of Chicago via Wikimedia Commons. 

4. The rum-centric cocktail menu at Sparrow, on West Elm Street, may say Havana, but the retro-deco interior of this long, narrow lobby bar is all 1920s Chicago.

NicholasJamesPhoto-SparrowOpening-15Photo Courtesy of Nicholas James

5. Hypochondriacs and the squeamish might want to steer clear of the International Museum of Surgical Science. But if you can’t get enough of Clive Owens in The Knick, this could be your kind of place. (And it’s housed in a lakefront mansion that’s a replica of the Petit Trianon at Versailles.)

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6. More France! Turns out that Chicago has its own version of Paris’s Sainte-Chapelle, complete with gorgeous, soaring stained-glass windows. It’s the Saint James Chapel, originally part of the Quigley Preparatory Seminary and now serving the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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