The construction of Lake Shore Drive was championed by Potter Palmer in 1889 to raise the value of his lake front property. Montgomery Ward strongly opposed, hoping to keep the lakefront "forever open, clear and free."

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Palmer's mansion was at 1350 N Lake Shore Dr, and is largely the reason the Gold Coast neighborhood is what it is today. The site of his mansion is now two high rise apartment buildings, each with several photos of the old days inside.