Chicago’s famous Lake Shore Drive could be renamed in honor of black explorer Jean Baptiste Point du Sable


DuSable is already the namesake of DuSable High School, the DuSable Museum of African American History, and a downtown park and bridge. He is considered to be Chicago’s first permanent non-Native settler, establishing a trading post in the late 1700s and eventually selling his land to French-Canadian fur trapper Jean La Lime, who ceded them to John Kinzie.

Aldermen conducted protracted negotiations to rename Congress Parkway in honor of Ida B. Wells in 2018, the pioneering journalist who chronicled the lynchings and was an early civil rights leader. A compromise ultimately spared Balbo Drive from being renamed to appease certain Italian-American groups and also kept Wells Street named for Army Captain William Wells, who was killed in the Battle of Fort Dearborn. It also prevented many addresses from having to change.

In his ordinance to rename Lake Shore Drive, Moore asserts that “with the exception of the Sand Museum and the little-known Chicago River Reconnaissance, very few people, especially tourists and newbies to Chicago, know Du Sable as the founder of Chicago. While we’re excited about the name change from Congress Parkway to Ida B Wells Street, it’s a shame that there isn’t a street or main road named after an African-American man passing through the neighborhood. central business.

The aldermen are unlikely to pass the measure in committee without procedural hurdles – it was put on the agenda less than 48 hours before the vote. But there is a matter of debate. Moore did not immediately return a request for comment. When it was introduced last year, 11 of the 50 city councilors signed on to support the change.

If the measure were passed by the committee, and then by the whole council later this month, the city’s transport commissioner would have 30 days to notify local election officials and the post office of the name change. She is also expected to embark on replacing every road sign with the new name – the change of congressional signs to Ida B Wells came about seven months after the vote.


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