I'm on Lake Shore Drive every day, and I often forget what a gorgeous drive it is.....that's because I'm trying not to get hit by the bus taking up one and a half lanes and the mini van that doesn't look before merging. Seriously, you should have to pass a class before you're allowed on Lake Shore. In my effort to become more at peace with The Drive, I've devoted this week's 'Did you know, Chicago?' to this evil but necessary road.
Lake Shore Drive was originally called Leif Ericson Drive. It was renamed to Lake Shore Drive in 1946. Just think; instead of calling it 'The Drive' you could be calling it 'The Leif.'
The Drive wasn't originally built for auto traffic. Potter Palmer convinced the city to create this scenic little road to up the value of his Lakefront mansion and to allow the wealthy to take leisurely carriage rides.
Can you believe that's what Lake Shore Drive used to look liked?!
Lake Point Tower is the only skyscraper in downtown that's east of Lake Shore Drive.
You know that bridge that carries Lake Shore Drive over the Chicago River? That apparently has a name! It's called the Link Bridge. (Clever.)
Lake Shore Drive didn't run past Belmont until it was extended to Foster in 1933 and extended again to Hollywood in 1957. There are ongoing debates about extending it to Rogers Park, and there's also a plan to extend Lake Shore to South Chicago, but I always lose track of where that's at.
Remember the Snowpocalypse? That really sucked. About 1,500 vehicles were stranded and it took them two days to clear them off. Since Lake Shore is part of my evening commute, I was actually on it up until about 20 minutes before they closed it down. I would have lost it if I had been stranded.
There's a fairly lame song about Lake Shore Drive by Chicago-based rock group Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah. Click here to listen to it. I do have to warn you that you won't be able to get it out of your head.