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South Lakefront Tour: Sites W & X
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Site W
Continue south on South Shore Drive to 71st Street. As you leave Jackson Park going south on South Shore Drive, you will notice a golf course on your left. This was once the exclusive South Shore Country Club. The clubhouse is located just off the intersection of 71st and South Shore Drive. The architectural firm of Marshall & Fox designed it early in the century after the closing of the Washington Park Club and Race Track. The South Shore Country Club became a bastion of Chicago's South Side WASP elite. The Irish soon joined the club as they came to dominate South Shore along with their Jewish neighbors. Jews, however, along with blacks, were not allowed to join the club. Membership peaked in 1957 at 2,200, but already affluent white South Siders were leaving the neighborhood. The property was sold to the Chicago Park District in 1974 for just under ten million dollars. The Park District planned to demolish the elegant old building, but South Shore residents organized to save it. Neighbors created the Coalition to Save the South Shore Country Club. Out of this experience residents also established the South Shore Historical Society. The Country Club has become an important symbol of a positive future for South Shore. Because of local efforts, an important part of Chicago's history has been saved. The Park District has spent over six million dollars in renovating the elegant old structure. Several successful celebrations have already taken place on the grounds including a jazz festival.

The above photograph shows a Jackson Park Life Saving Station around 1910. Jackson park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, included a marina and a coast guard station by the time of World War I.

Site X
Do not make a lefthand turn at 71st Street, but keep to the right and go south across the I.C.G. railroad tracks one block to 72nd and Yates. Turn right at 72nd Street and go five blocks west to 2126 East 72nd Street. Joseph McCarthy's massive Tudor Gothic church of St. Philip Neri (1928) overlooks a neighborhood of well-built homes which were once occupied by its Irish-American parishioners, but are now predominantly black-owned. This church seats 1,700 people and is one of the largest in Chicago. St. Philip Neri parish was founded in 1912 to serve forty Catholic families in the area.

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