Chicago renames iconic Lake Shore Drive for city’s ‘founder’ Jean Baptiste Point DuSable

USA TODAY, by Grace Hauck, June 25, 2021

CHICAGO — City officials voted Friday to rename a segment of the iconic Lake Shore Drive for the first non-Indigenous permanent settler of Chicago: Jean Baptiste Point DuSable.

DuSable, originally from present-day Haiti, settled near the mouth of the Chicago River in the late 1770s, according to the DuSable Heritage Association. He married a member of the Potawatomie tribe, Kittihawa, and became a prominent trader in the area.

The change Friday renames a 17-mile stretch of the expressway from the North to the South Sides on the outer drive to avoid the changing of hundreds of addresses on the inner drive.

A previous attempt to rename the expressway for DuSable – sponsored by then-Ald. Toni Preckwinkle, who now serves as Cook County Board president – failed in 1993. But in 2019, Ald. David Moore took up the cause again. That year, the city renamed a major parkway for journalist Ida B. Wells.

“It is appalling that the founder of this great city has no major street named after him in Chicago. It is my hope that this city can right a wrong that is 230 years in the making,” Moore wrote at the time.

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