Prairie Avenue Historic District

sights / Architecture

Prairie Avenue Historic District information

Chicago , USA
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In the late 1800s, Prairie Ave between 16th and 20th Sts is where Chicago's millionaires lived in their mansions. Today the district is good for a stroll. Some of the homes have been preserved as museums; others are intriguing to admire from the outside. A footbridge over the train tracks links the area to Burnham Park and the Museum Campus.

Prairie Ave was millionaire's row until the vice and industry of the nearby Levee District (four blocks west) got too close for comfort. By 1900 the crème de la crème had packed up and moved north to the Gold Coast. The neighborhood endured years of decline until the Chicago Architecture Foundation stepped in to help restore various buildings.

Nifty ones to check out from the street (they're privately owned, so you can't go in) include the William K Kimball House , which dates from 1892 and is modeled after a 15th-century French château. Both it and the Romanesque Joseph G Coleman House now serve as the incongruous headquarters for the US Soccer Federation. Limestone puts a glitzy facade on the brick Elbridge G Keith House , an 1870 home.