Chicago City Council votes to rename Lake Shore Drive

Chicago City Council votes to rename Lake Shore Drive

After months of back-and-forth haggling about changing the name of Chicago’s iconic Lake Shore Drive, City Council voted yesterday 33-15 to change the name.

The divided council originally argued to change the name of Lake Shore Drive to DuSable Drive.

After delaying and tabling the vote for months a comprise was suggest on Tuesday of this week to keep the Lake Shore Drive name proceeded by DSable.

The new name: Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive becomes the longest named street/highway in the U.S. beating the former title holder “Northeast Kentucky Industrial Parkway” in Kentucky.

The renamed roadway covers Outer Lake Shore Drive that runs along Chicago’s lakefront—from Hollywood Ave. on the north, to 67th Street on the South.

The inner drive–mostly business and residential properties–will remain Lake Shore Drive. 

The vote came amid protests over racial justice and passed along racial lines with 12 of the 15 white alderman voting against the name change. 

Supporters say changing the name to honor DuSable, a Black man and Chicago’s first non-indigenous settler, is a recognition of contributions Black people have made to the city. 

About DuSable (1745-1818)

Jean Baptiste Point DuSable is regarded as the first permanent non-Indigenous settler of what would later become Chicago, Illinois, and is recognized as the “Founder of Chicago”.

DuSable, a Haitian immigrant, set up a trading post in the late 1700s at the nexus of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. He eventually sold his land to French-Canadian fur trapper Jean La Lime, who then flipped it to John Kinzie.

DuSable is the namesake of DuSable High School, the DuSable Museum of African American History, DuSable Harbor and a bridge downtown. 

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