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No Man's Land in Wilmette, IL - it's an appropriate name for an area that was left largely undeveloped until the 1960s. No Man's Land is a strip of land along the lakefront between 10th. St. and Westerfield Drive in Wilmette.. It was originally an unincorporated area, and thus the name, No Man's Land. After much debate, it was annexed by Wilmette in 1942.
Around 1926 plans were drawn up for a Spanish/Moorish style shopping arcade which included a hotel, restaurants, clubs, the Miralago Ballroom, the Teatro del Lago, apartments, and a 50-car garage. The project was designed by Edwin H. Clark and opened in 1928.
Most of the area was destroyed during a fire 1932 when neighboring towns refused to assist in the unincorporated area (hope that still doesn't happen today!) This Sheridan Road neighborhood eventually turned honky tonk and sported hot dog stands, service stations, firework concessions and private beach clubs. Since there were no zoning restrictions, there was also a good dose of Jazz age bootlegging, gambling and Sunday movies.
In 1968, two Evanston lawyers bought the land and redeveloped it to it's former glory. They tore down the theater, the parking garage and the apartments. A Jewel grocery store moved in where the theater used to be and currently the rest is occupied by various businesses such as Crate and Barrel, Starbucks, Convito Italiano, Blockbuster Video, Burhops, and a dozen other smaller, locally owned stores.
Perhaps the biggest changes came with the development of the strip on the lake of six multi-story apartment buildings that all eventually turned into condos. Most of these luxury residences have private beaches, pools, doormen, balconies, and party rooms.
The two buildings which anchor the rest (the northernmost and the southernmost) are cooperatives while the rest are condos. During the peak real estate period, a penthouse located at 1618 sold for $1,550,000 in July of 2002.
These buildings have been very popular with downsizers who have sold the large family home nearby in Wilmette, Winnetka, or Kenilworth but wish to stay nearby. They are known for fabulous views of the lake, although some lower priced units have only partial views.
There are currently 33 of the condos or co-ops for sale priced from $175,000 for a 1-bedroom to $975,000 for a 3-bedroom. The premier building is generally considered to be 1420 Sheridan, although the co-op at 1630 is a close second. However, since the co-op was recently designated at 55+, sales have slowed. The record price was $1,550,000 in 2002 for a penthouse in the 1618 Sheridan building.
There is not much left of the original No Man's Land except for the name and the memories of old-timers who still talk about the old Teatro del Lago or the ice cream store. There is, however, a new take-out pizza shop - called appropriately . . . "No Man's Land Pizza."
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.