A History of Michigan Avenue

11 October 2018

Located on Chicago’s iconic Michigan Avenue, 1000M celebrates the history, vibrancy and excitement found in one of the greatest city streets in the world. Read about the vibrant past of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

Located on Chicago’s iconic Michigan Avenue, 1000M celebrates the history, vibrancy and excitement found in one of the greatest city streets in the world. Nestled in the heart of downtown, from the Magnificent Mile to the Cultural Mile, Michigan Avenue pulses with an energy not found anywhere else, with iconic museums, landmark architecture, world-class shopping and beautiful greenery. It’s no surprise that our very name celebrates our premier location, and we love looking back on Michigan Avenue’s rich history.

 

Named after Lake Michigan, local planners in the early 1900s envisioned Michigan Avenue as a major commercial boulevard, drawing inspiration from the Champs Élysées in Paris. Between 1920 and 1929, landmarks including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and Fourth Presbyterian Church began to speckle the street, slowly building the rich ecosystem that Michigan Avenue houses today. But as the Great Stock Market Crash hit Chicago in 1929, the expansion came to a halt.

 

In 1947, Chicago real estate developer Arthur Rubloff launched a new promotional plan to revitalize the expansion, transforming the area into “The Magnificent Mile”, a hub for retail, dining and cultural institutions. By 1970, the area was starting to live up to its new name, with the John Hancock Center opening at 100 stories, the tallest building in the world at the time. From 1988-2001, Michigan Avenue continued to expand, meeting the design demands of modern urban environments. In 2014, the stretch of Michigan Avenue between Wacker Drive and Roosevelt Road was recognized as the “Chicago Cultural Mile”, which includes The Art Institute, The Field Museum, Millennium Park, the Symphony Orchestra and the headquarters of such Chicago social clubs as The Chicago Club, The Executives’ Club and The University Club.   

 

Today, Michigan Avenue, with its majestic location just steps from Millennium and Grant Parks and the lakefront, is beloved by both visitors and residents. Shopping, hotel, dining, attractions and events create a unique and diverse experience, defining Chicago’s downtown area.

 

Suffice to say that 1000M is a portal to everything the great Avenue has to offer. The excitement of city life and the harmony of Grant Park and Lake Michigan are all right outside our doors, giving residents the perfect point of embarkation to enjoy our world class city.