Chicago History: Edgewater Beach Hotel

After 7 years of living in Chicago, I still have to pinch myself to make sure that I am not just dreaming that I live in such a historic and beautiful city.

This is a city of neighborhoods and sides. Since moving here, I have always lived on the Far North Side. Edgewater/Andersonville is my ‘hood, and just like all the other parts of Chicago, it is very much like a little city in itself. It has a personality and a life. Most of all, it has a history. One that I can read about, and learn – and actually want to!

Here is an amazing link about an old pink co-op condo building that I have always been intrigued by. It sits right next to the Lake, near the end of Lakeshore Drive. It is a shadow of its former self, but in it’s heyday, it was apparently THE place to be. Almost yet another city in itself. This is a very long article, but skimming it is fun.

Here is a quote taken from the article by Gus Travlos, manager of the Captain’s Table dining room:

That was a beautiful hotel. It wasn’t a hotel really. It was a resort within the city that was beautiful. Every part of it. The outside and the inside, everything was beautiful. All the top people in the world came through there. The food, the service, the class that the hotel had, you couldn’t find it today.

The first time I saw the Edgewater Beach Hotel, I was driving north on Sheridan Road and I stopped on Balmoral at the stoplight. I saw a friend of mine standing there and he said. “I’m working here. Let’s grab a cup of coffee.” I walked in and I said, “Wow! This is a hotel?” I couldn’t believe it. The lobby. The dining rooms. I was speechless.

I couldn’t believe the beauty, the structure. The things I’ve seen there, I’ve never seen in Europe, and you know in Europe we have a lot of class. I’d been at the Congress Hotel, the Blackstone, the Hilton, but there was no comparison. And, when he asked me to work for him, I said, “Wow! I thought we had class in Europe.” The guy was laughing. He knew I was so impressed that I couldn’t believe it. That was quite a sight.

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