Bring Back the Sunday Drive

30 April 2020

1000M sketched into the Chicago skyline off of Lakeshore Drive
Sketch by Helmut Jahn.


In a recent Chicago Tribune article discovered and shared with our team by the architect behind 1000M, Helmut Jahn, critic Blair Kamin made a modest proposal: bring back the Sunday drive. At a time when we’re all aching for stimulation and sights to see, the Sunday drive is the perfect (and nostalgic solution). Taken on a Sunday — often in the lazy afternoon hours — the Sunday drive is a pleasurable experience with no destination and no rush. 

“Such excursions might go through farm fields, to the nearest Dairy Queen, or along a sylvan route lined with money-dripping mansions, like the North Shore’s Sheridan Road,” writes Kamin. With the lakefront closed to joggers and leisure strollers alike, Lake Shore Drive appears a tempting mirage outside our apartment windows. This could be the solution. In a steel pod, there’s no concerns about social distancing or the spread of germs. 

Many of us have taken more virtual tours than we can count, and are yearning for something more. From the car, it’s possible to take a historic architectural tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s local masterpieces, along the Indiana Dunes lakeshore or of course, admire the lake and city skyline cruising down Lake Shore Drive. 

The Sunday Drive first became popular in the 1920s and 30s, as people discovered the joys of recreational driving in their Model T cars, dressed in their Sunday finest. It was a family affair, done for the simplest of joys. At a time like this, a simple joy is exactly what we need most. As Jahn puts it, “there is some light in the future.”