Chicago City Council on Friday passed an ordinance to change the name of Outer Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable.
Du Sable, the city’s black founder, arrived in Chicago in 1790 and is considered probably the first permanent non-Native American settler in the area.
The new name, which was announced following a compromise, is “Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive”.
Chicago’s city council was due to vote on the measure at its Wednesday meeting, which abruptly adjourned amid arguments over whether mayor’s candidate Lori Lightfoot be confirmed as legal counsel for the company and the rules of the ‘organization.
Ald. David Moore was one of the main supporters of the decision to rename the causeway in honor of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, and said on Tuesday he felt he had the voices to do so.
“None of us would be here, including Lake Shore Drive, if this town hadn’t been founded by Jean Baptiste Point du Sable,” he said. “We took it out of committee, and I’m not going to send it to committee just so it can be blocked.”
Ald. Brian Hopkins is part of a contingent opposing the change and says he has heard that many residents support his position.
“It was about the desire to protect the tradition, the heritage, the attractiveness of the name,” he said. “It’s a beautiful name for a beautiful road.”
Hopkins offered a compromise to rename the city’s Millennium Park in honor of Du Sable. He argues it would be much less controversial and avoid confusion for the thousands of downtown residents who live along the alley.
Moore said his order guarantees that no residential address will change.
“The interior road will always be Lake Shore Drive,” he says. “Their homes are still on Lake Shore Drive and the outer driveway is named after the founder. He should get recognition.
Lightfoot, who has voiced opposition to the plan to rename Lake Shore Drive, offered a series of compromise proposals. A project proposed by Lightfoot would establish an annual Sand Festival, which would be held each August, and a park in its honor, which would be established on city lands near the shores of Lake Michigan.
Jean Baptiste Point du Sable is considered to be the first non-native settler in the region who would eventually become the city of Chicago. It is believed that he lived at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1790 and established a commercial colony which led to the formation of the city, which was officially incorporated in March 1837.
Another possible compromise that has been proposed is to rename the street to Sable Lake Shore Drive, but it is not clear whether this proposal will go to lawmakers.