The complex had a private beach and offered seaplane service to downtown Chicago. During its lifetime, the hotel served many famous guests including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, and Nat King Cole, and U.S. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Areoplane View Postcard.|
On June 14, 1949, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus was shot and nearly killed by an obsessive fan at the hotel; this later would be a large part of the inspiration behind Bernard Malamud's novel The Natural.
|You can see the Edgewater Beach Hotel and Apartments in the background from Lake Shore Drive which ended at Foster Avenue in this 1938 photograph.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotels Last Day, Thursday, December 21, 1967.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel being demolished mid-1970.|
Visit the Souvenir Shop
Edgewater Beach Apartments, Chicago
The at 5555 N. Sheridan Road to the north were completed as part of the hotel resort complex in 1928. The "sunset pink" apartments complemented the "sunrise yellow" hotel in a similar architectural style. Bears coach George Halas lived in the apartment building for many years.
The hotel closed in 1967 and was raised the same year, but the Edgewater Beach Apartments, the last of the original structures left on the property, remains as a landmarked testament to the spacious elegance and solid construction that characterize the best buildings of the Roaring Twenties.
|Edgewater Beach Apartments.|
|Edgewater Beach Apartments Swimming Pool.|
The Edgewater Beach Hotel: Magic by the Lake
by Ginny Weissman
It was a Chicago landmark -- a lavish pink resort that stood on the lakefront at Sheridan near Foster for almost half a century. The Edgewater Beach Hotel has been closed since 1967, yet the memories linger on.
The Edgewater Beach Hotel was the brainchild of two Chicago businessmen, who initially tried to buy the Chicago Cubs. When the deal fell through, they decided instead to build a hotel. One of the partners, John T. Connery, bought the vacant property across the street from his home on Sheridan Road and called on the architectural firm Marshall & Fox whose lead architect, Ben Marshall, had a reputation for flamboyant taste and adventurous style. Marshall's concept for the Edgewater Beach was no exception: the construction would be in Spanish-style stucco, in the form of a Maltese Cross, so most rooms would face the Lake. The original 400-room structure opened in 1916.
|Edgewater Beach Hotel New Double Decker Motor Bus, 1919.|
During the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, the Edgewater Beach was Chicago's place to see and be seen. Countless weddings, proms, dances and other events drew neighborhood residents. On any given night, you could rub elbows with celebrities such as Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Marilyn Monroe, and major sports figures including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, to name a few. All the big bands played there: Tommy Dorsey, Xavier Cugat, Wayne King and many others. Hotel manager (and later president) William Dewey "was a showman," says historian Kenan Heise. "He was good at booking top names into the Edgewater Beach, and that was very much a part of its allure."
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Beach Walk.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Marine Dining Room|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Private Motor Coach. Circa 1930.|
|A Hydro-Aeroplane rests on the promenade at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, Chicago. Circa 1920|
|Aerial view showing the famous Edgewater Beach Hotel and Pool, located on Chicago's New Landfilled Lake Front. Known by world travelers for its dining and luxury accommodations.|
A trace of elegance still remains at the Edgewater Beach Apartments, built in 1927, the last of the original structures left on the property. And as you walk by, you can almost hear the big bands playing; just as they did in the glory days of the Edgewater Beach.
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Yacht Club|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Yacht Club|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Ballroom.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Black Cat Room.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Passaggio.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel East Lounge.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel West Lounge.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Flower Shop.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Typical Bedroom.|
|Panoramic Dining Room Edgewater Hotel Chicago.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Colonnade Room.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel Marine Dining Room.|
|Edgewater Beach Hotel. The 2 buildings seen here were demolished by mid-1970.|
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.