Want to catch a glimpse of Golden Age Chicago thriving in modern times? Streeterville is the place to be. A busy pocket nabe of Near North Side, Streeterville is where Chicago’s most luxurious top dogs lie: the best (and most expensive) homes, hotels, dining, and shopping in the city. Streeterville is also home to one of Chicago’s most famous attractions: Navy Pier. This fun-filled mini-amusement park sits on the shores of Lake Michigan—you’ve probably seen a shot of its massive Ferris wheel before. If you love the luxe-life in Streeterville but are worried about the noise at night, check out quieter, more residential Gold Coast nearby.
Streeterville Articles and Reviews
High Rises and Higher Noses
I’m sure if I were a mid 40’s something corporate lady rocking “sensible” stilettos and designer A line dress, eating the most organic, gluten free, vegan food in my high rise, I would be really into Streeterville. However, I’m not, nor will I ever be (I’ve accepted my future life as a commoner). For what its worth, this nabe does attract two general demographics: rich couples and tourists. You’ve got Navy Pier and all that jazz, then you have gourmet everything else and fancy-shmancy boutiques.
Ok to pass through during the day, if you have the money hit up a restaurant or lounge at night, but otherwise, not much going on here.
A Sense of Mission
Always coveted for its spectacular views of Lake Michigan, Streeterville has both opulent condo & coops from the early 1900’s on East Lake Shore Drive, and eminent architecture from Mies van der Rohe (860-880 Lake Shore Drive).
It seems everyone wants to build in Streeterville, which explains why it became a developer hotbed in the past 10 years. Beautiful architect & developers projects, such as Lucien Lagrange’s -840 Lake Shore Drive, and LR Development’s 600 N. Lake Shore Drive went up to name just a few. The area also has lots of great rental apartments options, but don’t expect to find many single family homes here.
Its superb location – by the water and just north of downtown make for some spectacular high-rise views.
World-famous Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, created designs for the awe-inspiring Chicago Spire, which unfortunately stopped at just the foundation in 2009.
Streeterville has a very active resident group – SOAR, Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, that works to “ensure thoughtful development” of the neighborhood.
Top Perks? Jaw-dropping views of Lake Michigan with world-class shopping at your feet (One Mag Mile) with one of the city’s top hospitals, Northwestern Memorial and the soon-to-be-built Children’s Memorial Hospital as well.
Green space? -Walk by the lake (albeit on cement), or walk, jogg or ride your bike on trails & through parks by the beach & Navy Pier. The trails lead to wonderful parkland where you can picnic or walk all the way along the lakefront downtown to Grant Park and Monroe Harbour.
Best Kept Secret? – Lake Shore Park @ 808 N. LSD has tennis courts, a running track and baseball diamond.
Its also a Cultural Mecca: Navy Pier, the Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the River East Arts Center, and The Museum of Contemporary Art all call Streeterville home.
My favs: Fox & Obel gourmet market & Uncork it for wine.
Views of the water with the Mag Mile at your feet.
I’m not so sure about Navy Pier’s being listed as a perk of this mega-expensive rat-race neighborhood, because Navy Pier is a living nightmare. I’m in the wrong tax bracket to even hang out here. It’s gray, new, urban, fast-paced, trendy and way “shi-shi” as my mom says. Designer clothing, condos, fine dining, etc. Blech.
From entertainment to restaurants, necessities to amenities, parks to playgrounds, everything’s within easy reach from the high-rises along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. It makes this nabe perfect for those who prefer to avoid public transportation or car ownership. For this reason, the elderly and families with children have chosen to reside here, where they can simply slip out the lobby and in five minutes be in a museum or restaurant. It’s typical and romantic city living, with more glitz than grime, and the perfect backdrop for a F. Scott Fitzgerald short story.
from trash, you've come so far!
There’s always a nabe that tourists are sure to visit in each big city. In Chicago, Streeterville is one of those. The mingled mix of visitors and Chicago locals isn’t annoying here, though—It’s no obnoxious NYC Times Square. If you had to compare the two cities, maybe it’s more like Columbus Circle plus water and more fun.
Things you must check out while you’re here: Museum of Contemporary Art, Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier. Specifically because of Navy Pier, this may be one of the best places in Chicago for tourists with kids (the other top spot would be South Loop for Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum).
Some fun history: Streeterville isn’t named for its bustling streets. Quite the contrary, actually. In the late 1800’s, George “Cap” Streeter’s boat ran aground on a sandbar on Lake Michigan, and he decided to make the stranded boat and sandbar his home. Streeter turned the sandbar into a commercial landfill for the city, and soon the sandbar was connected to the mainland. Interesting how one of the most affluent nabes in Chicago came from, well, garbage.