Buildings

EVEN DRAKE HOTEL MAY BE VULNERABLE

November 26, 1967

(Chicago Tribune) - One of the most startling and persistent rumors is that the Drake Hotel at Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive may be demolished for a new development.

It is only a rumor and denied without qualification.  But even more startling is the attitude of E. L. Brashears, Jr., president of the Drake Hotels, that, indeed, there may come a day when the fashionable landmark is torn down for a bigger development.

Brashears and other real estate developers believe that, in time, Chicago will follow the pattern of New York City in tearing down existing, tall buildings, even those of profitable enterprises, to erect bigger and more profitable structures.

Brashears said Chicago is 10 to 15 years behind New York City in this trend, but that it is inevitable.

Because of its prime location on the northern boundary of Michigan Avenue, Brashears envisions a super-development that would encompass much of the land stretching along Lake Shore Drive east of Michigan Avenue.

It would have to be a Rockefeller Center of Chicago, he said.

There have been no serious proposals and it would be a development of such magnitude that it would require an undertaking by a giant corporation, but it is not an impossibility, Brashears said.

There is a lot of area in the central city that could come up for redevelopment before the Drake - the west side of the Loop, the Illinois Central railroad tracks, and the Chicago river - but real estate men observe that only the land area is limited, not the demand for more commercial and residential space.

 

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Press

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