Just East of Lake Shore

We've been on several tours and heard several anecdotes about the architecture and history of Chicago. One of my favorite tour stories is the one I heard about the land beneath Lake Point Tower.

Lake Point Tower

Here's the legend: For years there was an ordinance against construction east of Lake Shore Drive. When development began on Lake Point Tower it created quite the hubbub. In the ensuing court case, the construction was allowed to proceed because of a very "Chicago" technicality.

The wording of the original ordinance forbade construction on land East of LSD. Turns out the plot intended for Lake Point Tower is actually landfill. So construction was permitted and the ordinance was quickly changed to prevent this from happening again. Crazy, right? Crazy enough to make a great story.

East of Lake Shore
a unique view of the city skyline

Regardless of how or why the construction was allowed to happen, Lake Point Tower is a stunning building with gorgeous, unique views (as the only building East of LSD) and a few very special amenities. Last weekend, as a part of Open House Chicago 2012, we had a chance to see parts of the building for ourselves.

Restaurant with a View
Excuse my wind blown, humidity ravaged hair.

On the 70th floor you'll find the breathtaking Cité. It's a fine dining restaurant with 360º views and a menu that had my mouth watering. There's an incredibly reasonably priced Chef's tasting menu that I can't wait to get into my tummy. (Hubby, are you paying attention?)

Cité The Pier

The building also boasts one of the first (perhaps THE first) roof gardens in Chicago. Designed originally by landscape architect Alfred Caldwell, Skyline Park is currently in the midst of a major renovation. Staying true to Caldwell's original design the condominium association has commissioned Hitchcock Design group to not only restore the existing park, but implement the east half of Caldwell's plan that, for budgetary reasons, was never completed before.

Even under construction, the park is site to behold. I look forward to seeing the finished product.

Roof Garden
oh how I love stacked stone...

Completed in 1968, Lake Point Tower was the tallest apartment building at the time. Despite being more than 40 years old it's graceful curves and clean lines keep it looking modern and fresh. Architects John Heinrich and George Schipporeit were students of Mies van der Rohe. The innovative rounded three arm design (see the whole building here) ensures that no apartment is looking directly into its neighboring unit but still ensures that each unit has a spectacular view.

Unfortunately, none of the residents of the building were willing to let us traipse through his or her home to check it out. (though we tried - no we didn't - what if we would have?!?) But after our visit last weekend, the hubby and I have have definitely not crossed this building off our "what if we could live THERE someday" list.

Please tell me you know someone who lives in this building
and will let me check out their pad.
Anyone? Anyone?