Edgewater Beach Resort, Chicago 1947
The first building in the Edgewater Beach resort hotel complex was built on Lake Michigan in the northern community of Edgewater in Chicago, Illinois, in 1916 and offered 400 rooms for guests. The hotel had a 1200-foot private beach and offered a seaplane service to downtown Chicago. An adjacent south tower building was added in 1924.
The hotel hosted many famous guests - Presidents Franklin D Roosevelt and Dwight D Eisenhower, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin and Nat King Cole to name a few. There was a marble-tiled open-air dance floor and bandshell, known as The Beach Walk, which faced Lake Michigan. This is where this 1947 menu comes from.
Elegantly dressed guests spent spring and summer evenings here in the open air, drinking gin rickeys or bourbon highballs and dancing to the music of famous bandleaders such as Tommy Dorsey, Xavier Cugat and Glenn Miller. In the winter months, when Chicago fully lived up to its Windy City reputation and temperatures plunged, entertainment was provided indoors. Access to the hotel’s private beach on the lake was cut off in the 1950s and the hotel began to face competition from other big hotels.
In 1963, the National Conference on Race and Religion was held at the hotel and Martin Luther King Jnr gave a major address to the audience. A statement in support of civil rights by President John F Kennedy was read out. The hotel closed in 1967 and went into bankruptcy. Demolition of the hotel was completed in 1970. The Edgewater Beach Co-op Apartments, built in 1928 at the north end of the property, are the only remaining vestiges of this once-elegant Chicago resort.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu or cover.