Whether they know it or not, the neighborhood of Streeterville is what most people that live outside of Chicago think of when they hear our city's name. The area is home to Chicago's most popular tourist destination (Navy Pier), high end shopping (the Magnificent Mile), the city's second tallest skyscraper (Hancock), numerous architectural gems (Tribune Tower), the landmark that connects pre-Fire Chicago with the Chicago we all know and love today (the Water Tower), along with many more notable attractions.
While Streeterville's development didn't really accelerate until the 1920s, it had an interesting history in the decades leading up to that time. Legend has it that a boat owned by George Streeter "ran aground on a sandbar just 450 feet from Michigan Avenue" in 1886, and instead of digging the boat out, Streeter and his wife decided that they'd settle there and live on their stranded boat. Soon after, "landfill dumped in an effort to create land on which to build Lake Shore Drive created 186 acres of new land along the lake front," and Streeter attempted to claim it as his property. He stated that the "newly created land was his and that it was an independent territory which he called the District of Lake Michigan," and without the real authority to do so, he began selling and taxing the land. Streeter finally gave up his fight with the city in 1918, and the area began its initial boom, setting in motion the growth that made Streeterville was it is today.