Chicago's Lake Shore Drive Renamed to Honor Black Pioneer

Introducing Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive, renamed to honor the first non-indigenous settler of Chicago.

June 30, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A blur of car taillights illuminate Lake Shore Drive approaching Downtown Chicago.

Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock

"Chicago’s most iconic and picturesque roadway has a new name — and it’s a mouthful of history: Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive," reports Fran Spielman.

"The Black man of Haitian descent who was Chicago’s first non-indigenous settler finally got the honor his champions say he has long deserved, thanks to an on-again, off-again compromise that was back on again — and approved — at a City Council meeting Friday."

The process of renaming the city's waterfront highway took two years of lobbying and nine months of City Council negotiations before finally breaking through a logjam late last week.

Downtown Aldermen Brian Hopkins was one of a few outspoken opponents to the name change. Hopkins offered an alternative—renaming Millennium Park for DuSable. Hopkins also voice concerns about the six high-rise buildings and a seventh under construction that "would have an address that 'no longer matches the road they’re on.'"

Additional news coverage of the name change is available from the Chicago Tribune [paywall].

Friday, June 25, 2021 in Chicago Sun-Times

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