Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Edgewater Beach Hotel

The Edgewater Beach Hotel was a hotel in the far-north neighborhood community of Edgewater in Chicago, Illinois. Built in 1916 and owned by John Tobin Connery and James Patrick Connery, it was located between Sheridan Road and Lake Michigan at Berwyn Avenue.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, and U.S. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The hotel was known for hosting big bands such as the bands of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Xavier Cugat, and Wayne King, which were also broadcast on the hotel's own radio station, a precursor to WGN with the calls WEBH.

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. The 1951–54 extension of Lake Shore Drive from Foster Avenue to Bryn Mawr Avenue cut the hotel off from the beach leading to a reduction in business. The hotel closed in 1967 and the main buildings were demolished shortly after.The Edgewater Beach Co-op or Apartments, built in 1928,is the only part of the hotel complex to survive and is part of the Bryn Mawr Historic District where many Art Deco buildings can be found.

Article Source: Wikipedia


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