The Gold Coast consists mostly of high-rise apartment buildings on Lake Shore Drive, facing Lake Michigan, but also includes low-rise residential blocks, inland. As with many neighborhoods, its exact borders are subject to dispute; but, generally they extend from North Avenue, south, to Division Street and west to LaSalle Street; and, it also includes the areas east of State Street, south, to Oak Street and east of Michigan Avenue, south, to Delaware Place.
The Gold Coast became the home of the super-rich in 1885, when Potter Palmer, former dry goods merchant and owner of the Palmer House hotel, built a fanciful castle on Lake Shore Drive. Over the next few decades, Chicago's elite gradually migrated from Prairie Avenue to their new homes north of the Loop.
Along almost every boulevard of the Gold Coast, upscale boutiques and shops have opened up. Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Hermès, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Cartier SA, Van Cleef & Arpels, Yves Saint Laurent, Harry Winston, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Stuart Weitzman, Rolex, Max Mara, Vera Wang, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Paul Stuart, Betsey Johnson, and Lilly Pulitzer are just a few of the dozens of designers that have locations in the exclusive neighborhood. Also, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Porsche, and Bugatti have dealership locations in the Gold Coast.
The "Gold Coast Historic District" was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 30, 1978. Gold Coast is zoned to the following Chicago Public Schools schools: Ogden School, and Lincoln Park High School.
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