Most commonly, the term was used to refer to a small unincorporated area north of Chicago on Sheridan Road, along the lakeshore of Lake Michigan.
|No Man's Land - Wilmette, Illinois.|
In the 1920s, a developer envisioned and began construction of a planned club and beach hotel complex to be called "Vista Del Lago" (Spanish for "Lakeview"). The club was under construction on the east side of Sheridan Road, but the Great Depression prevented completion of the hotel. In 1928, one of the earlier automobile-oriented shopping centers, Spanish Court, opened adjacent to the club. The club burned down in 1932.
The lack of development on the east side of the road, coupled with the club's location in a relatively lawless unincorporated area, led to a state legislator in the 1930s terming No Man's Land "a slot machine and keno sin center where college students were being debauched with beer, hard liquor, and firecrackers." In 1942, after decades of disputed ownership and legal wrangling, the area was annexed by the village of Wilmette. The area is now the home of the Plaza del Lago shopping center on the west side of Sheridan Road and a small number of anomalous high-rise residential buildings east of Sheridan Road.
|Plaza Del Lago & high-rise Condo's on Sheridan Road in Wilmette, Illinois.|
ROGERS PARK AREA OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
The term "No-Man's Land" was used prior to the expansion of Evanston and Chicago to refer to what is now the far north lakefront of the Rogers Park community of Chicago. It is also identified by the United States Geological Survey as being a variant name of the Howard District.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.