DuSable, a Haitian immigrant, set up a trading post in the late 1700s at the confluence of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. He eventually sold his land to French Canadian fur trapper Jean La Lime, who then ceded it to John Kinzie. It is the namesake of DuSable High School, DuSable Museum of African American History, DuSable Harbor, and a downtown bridge.
A final agreement to rename the pavement was reached after months of upheavals. A proposal to change the route to DuSable Drive was about to be passed twice, but delayed by parliamentary maneuvering and amid mounting tensions between the mayor and members of Council. Ald. Sophia King, 4th, and Ald. David Moore, 17th, co-sponsors of the name change, both expressed frustration with the administration’s handling of the issue.
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In May, Ald. Brian Hopkins, 2nd, and Ald. Ariel Reboyras, 30th, has proposed delaying the vote for at least a month. This gave Mayor Lori Lightfoot time to push his $ 40 million alternative plan that would honor both DuSable and his wife Potawatomi, Kitihawa, with new public art, an annual festival, and the final repair of DuSable Park near the former site of Speyer.
Reluctance against the name change has focused on the potential cost to people with outside addresses on Lake Shore Drive and changing one of the city’s best-known attractions.
“It’s one of the city’s most iconic assets,” Lightfoot said last month. “When you say ‘Lake Shore Drive’ people know you’re talking about Chicago, and I think that’s very important. ”
During the indoor debate, Ald. King said changing the name of such an iconic road would send an important message about the city’s priorities.
“What’s in a name?” Ald. Sophia King asked during a brief debate in city council. “The names have an important meaning. It’s one of the first things we do when we welcome a child into this world … it has been argued that LSD should not be changed because it is so iconic. iconic.”
His administration finally pushed for a compromise, combining the DuSable name with the existing one. The Black Heroes Matter Coalition, which had lobbied a lot for the change, agreed to the plan on the condition that the council votes on the measure on Friday.