ILLINOIS: The Castle

When Potter Palmer built his house on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive in 1882, it had all the appurtenances of a princely European castle except the princes. The redoubtable Mrs. Potter Palmer took care of that. She chartered a yacht, set off for Moscow for the coronation of Czar Nicholas II, and returned triumphantly with a swatch of Russian princelings and princesses to waltz in her velvet-lined ballroom.

Potter Palmer was the merchant who brought the bargain sale to Chicago, the real-estate operator who shifted its shopping center from Lake Street to State...

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