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Memory Lane: The Shoreline Motels

Patrick Steffes of Forgotten Chicago has arranged a slew of historical documents and ephemera on the city's mostly forgotten Shoreline Motels. It's a delectable two-part tour of the 13 coastal motels built in a classic Miami Beach mold (only two of which survive today). Following a 1953 zoning amendment, motels started filling in the newly-populated stretches several miles north and south of The Loop. The Sands Motel was the first in town, and bigger, fancier ones soon arrived (though rarely exceeding four stories). Many were brazen enough to have outdoor pools and sound decks, and seemed to market a tropical lifestyle year-round. They were all the rage for a span, given their convenience, affordability, and prime location. So what did 'em in? The most likely culprits were soaring property values after the extension of LSD north from Foster, neighborhood opposition to the car-centric designs, and the arrival of new hotel towers. Drop in on Forgotten Chicago for much, much more! [Forgotten Chicago, photo: Chuckman's Collection]