GOLD COAST, CHICAGO - Neighborhood Guide & Tour (Travel Guide from a Local Living in Chicago)


what's good youtube it's louis gusto

welcome back to my channel today we're

in chicago's richest neighborhood where

some of the most wealthy and influential

chicagoans have lived it's also the home

to the original playboy mansion

as well as the only museum in north

america dedicated to the history of


that's right we're in the gold coast and

in this video we're gonna answer some

questions like is gold coast chicago the

wealthiest urban neighborhood in the

entire united states

how much does it cost to live here and

what is there to do in gold coast


sit around and count that money but

before we get started i have a trivia

question for you guys

in 1929 you could rent a 17 bedroom


at 1200 north lake shore drive for a

thousand dollars a month how much money

is that in 2020

the borders of chicago neighborhoods are

constantly up for debate

but for our purposes gold coast is

boarded on the north by north boulevard

on the west by clark street and then

further south by rush street

on the south by oak street and on the

east by lake shore drive

to get to gold coast take the cta

redline and get off at the division stop

then head east toward the lake you can

also take the 151 bus up lake shore

drive and get off at north avenue

elm street or oak street you can also

take the 22 36 or 72 buses to gold coast

which is super accessible

via bike along the lakefront trail there

are so many ways to get to gold coast

but as always i highly recommend

walking biking or taking public


the surrounding neighborhoods are old

town to the west streeterville to the


and gold coast lies directly south of

lincoln park the actual park

the gold coast neighborhood fits

perfectly within the chicago grid


three very well-known streets change

names here due to the fact that they

lead directly to the park

and that would be north boulevard state


and dearborn parkway

unlike most neighborhoods in chicago

gold coast has always been an area for

the wealthy and elite in other words

the who's who of chicago before the city

was settled by europeans this entire

area was inhabited by several different

native american tribes

and you got to figure that this area

very close to the lake and not too far

from the river was highly desirable

they also used clark street aka the west

border of gold coast

as an important trail in the time

following chicago's incorporation as a


there was no gold coast once the 1880s

rolled along potter palmer left his

residence in the fashionable prairie

avenue district in today's south loop to

build himself

and his wife a mansion on lakeshore

drive that looked just like a castle

unfortunately that mansion was

demolished in the 1950s but luckily

several paintings that once hung in that

magnificent house are on display at the

art institute of chicago in the years

that followed palmer sold parcels of

land to other wealthy upper-class

chicagoans and over the next several


more mansions exclusive hotels and the


luxury apartment buildings began popping

up all over gold coast

first along lake shore drive which was

extended up here in 1875

and then along astor street this street

was named after john jacob astor of new

york city

although astor never lived in chicago he

was one of the wealthiest

men of his time in the entire united

states and naming a street after him

brought even more prestige to this small

section of the near north side

this neighborhood was given its nickname

gold coast by college kids returning

from the east coast in the 1920s the

sheer density of wealth that has existed

here in the gold coast for most of

chicago's history

has protected it from urban decay that

befell other areas of the near north


the astor street district was made a

chicago landmark in 1975

and the entire gold coast district was

placed on the national register

of historic places in 1978. back in the

1980s gold coast was second only to

manhattan's upper east side in terms of

wealthiest urban neighborhoods in the

entire united states although today

other places have leapfrogged it

gold coast remains one of the most

affluent districts in the entire


the isham house was built in 1899 for dr

george swift isham a surgeon in 1959

hugh hefner bought it and it became the

original playboy mansion

once hefner left chicago for the west

coast he donated it to the school of the

art institute and it became a dorm

today it's divided into several

multi-million dollar condos the original

playboy mansion was designed in the

georgian revival architectural style the

three arts club was designed by holly

bird and roche

it was a home and club for women coming

to the big city

to study one of the three arts drama


painting today it's the home of

restoration hardware and it's a chicago


the seven houses on lake shore drive is

a chicago landmark district that

includes seven rare survivors

of original gold coast mansions built

between 1889

and 1917. if you had a delorean and

travel back to that time

you'd see these types of mansions all

over gold coast

other famous homes in gold coast include

the archbishop's residence a queen anne

style mansion and the oldest surviving

home in the district built in 1885 it's

been the home to several archdioceses of

chicago cardinals

the james charnley house was a collab

between louis sullivan and frank lloyd

wright built in 1892

it rejected the popular classical

architectural styles of the time

in favor of abstract modern design the

frankfischer studio at 1209 state

parkway was built in 1936

and is a rare chicago art mulan building

legendary architect john welborn root


and lived in this house built in 1888

the paterson mccormick mansion is a

massive home built in 1891 for eleanor


the daughter of chicago tribune

publisher and former mayor joseph

maddill the mad leonard house was built

for brewery owner albert f

mad leonard and is a fine example of

prairie school architecture


the wooden alley as its name suggests is

an alley

made entirely out of wood blocks and is

one of only two wooden alleys remaining

in the city of chicago it's a throwback

to the days when sidewalks and streets


regularly made out of wooden blocks it

was built in 1909 and restored

in 2011.


normally for these neighborhood guys we

love to go inside the restaurants and


that make the neighborhood so special

gold coast is no different than any

other chicago neighborhood

as far as having amazing places to eat

and drink le colonial

is near the top of my list something

that we always get for takeout

it's delicious french vietnamese cuisine

right on oak street

in the heart of gold coast so yummy

and since we can't go inside today we

did some takeout

we're in the park next to lake shore

drive still on the gold coast

about to chow down on some delicious

food another great local food and drink

option in gold coast is goddess in the


on state street in between cedar and elm

i got myself some espresso

and i'm ready to get my caffeine on

cheers more great food and drink options

in gold coast

include third coast cafe the oldest cafe

in the neighborhood fig in olive when

you want to escape to the south of

france and lou malnati's for classic

deep dish pizza the bar scene in gold

coast is lively with places like

hopsmith tavern

butch mcguire's and the original mothers


the list of things to do in gold coast

starts and ends with oak street beach

one of chicago's premier beaches you can

rent a chair and watch the waves of lake

michigan roll in and if you turn around

you get one of the most beautiful

skyline views in the entire city


the charnley persky house was built in

1892 and was designed by louis sullivan

and frank lloyd wright it's one of the

most important homes to the history

of modern architecture in the united

states and thus

it's a chicago landmark and also a

national historic landmark

today it's home to the society of

architectural historians and it's a


free to view and tour every wednesday

it's definitely one of the most historic

things to do

in gold coast this mansion built in 1917

is a replica of a building in versailles

it's now the home of the international

museum of surgical science

north america's only museum dedicated to

the history of surgery

admission is 17 and it's definitely one

of the coolest and most unique things to


in gold coast the oak street retail

district in the gold coast is one of the

best places to shop

luxury retail in the city


its beverly hills rodeo drive meets

fifth avenue in new york city

to get your worship on attend a service

at san cristo mom's church or lake shore

drive synagogue and for the kids

there's gowdy square park playground the

ambassador hotel is chicago's original

boutique hotel and opened

in 1926. latin school of chicago was

founded in 1888 and is one of the city's

top private schools

as far as living in gold coast you can

find a one-bedroom apartment here for as

low as 13.75 you can also find one for

27.90 so it's really

about your needs and budget condos here

start at 300k

and homes can be bought for as little as

1 to 3 million

or as high as 15 million

the vibe in gold coast is based off of

the wealthy residence

historic charm and close proximity to

the downtown area it's at the doorstep

of magnificent mile

on the shore of lake michigan and just

south of the park

i definitely want to live here as soon

as i can afford one of these historic


gold coast is an important part of

chicago's story as the wealthiest


in the city it is full of history

waiting to be discovered

as with many other chicago neighborhoods

it has seen some of its treasured


fall to the wrecking ball i'm sure if

the palmer mansion existed today

it'd be a museum visited by people from

all around the world

in the future i'd love to see more

wealthy chicagoans of color

living in gold coast did you get the

answer to the trivia question in 1929 a

thousand dollars for rent

is equivalent to 15 000 today in the

comments let me know what neighborhood

you want to see next

if you enjoyed this video go ahead and

finesse that like button and i would

really appreciate it if you shared this


with your very best friend thank you

guys so much for watching i'll see you

next time we out of here for now

peace and blessings the original playboy

mansion once hefner left chicago for the

west coast

big mistake in my opinion he donated it

to the ardens

he donated the seven houses on lakeshore

drive is a historic

chicago landmark district i'll wait for

a small lull

in the construction mmm it's bitter just

like i like nespresso

it's strong it's a double espresso

was that good