At that time Lake Michigan was not as popular as it is today. The general public held it as not a fit place to bathe in and unsafe for sailing. Very few people aside from the fishermen ventured out in boats. When we informed some of our friends of our thought of locating on the North Side, we were told that it would be bad for the baby, on account of the cold damp air, anywhere near the lake; so we changed our minds, concluded to move to the West Side to get "away from the lake". We bought a house on Warren Avenue, which was then considered, next to Washington Boulevard, the finest residence street on the far West Side, Ashland Boulevard excepted.
The Edgewater Beach Hotel added to its grounds and buildings at a rate that made it superior in appointments and popularity to anything of the kind ever known in Chicago. Bathing beaches were established all along the lake shore. The lake that a few years before was considered too cold to bathe in and too treacherous to sail on, became all of a sudden as attractive as the swan in its transformation from the "Ugly Duckling".
Along about this time, Chicago had increased its population, largely by annexation of small towns on the South, North, and West Sides, such as Lake View, Austin, Town of Lake, Pullman, South Chicago and other adjacent towns. So now to secure more new territory the city began to take steps to annex Lake Michigan, or rather some of the ground from beneath her surface. Property owners on the North Side owning land running back into the lake and the city authorities and park commissioners went at the work ruthlessly and vigorously with great dredges and sand suckers piling up land along the lake front for miles, establishing the outer drive and reclaiming what came to be the highest priced residential property ever known in the city of Chicago. Naturally, this made land come into the hands of men of large means who built beautiful homes until today it is known as the "Gold Coast".
In Reminiscence by Frederick E. Coyne, pages 60-64
Excella Press, Chicago, 1941.