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25 Richest Neighborhoods Include One Chicago 'Hood

Published: Monday, May 5, 2014 9:34 a.m. CDT

By Sally Deneen

Take a guess on which Chicagoland neighborhood makes the list of the 25 Richest Neighborhoods in America. If you guessed a North Shore suburb, try again.

Hint: It's the sixth-richest neighborhood in the country, according to Business Insider, which came up with the rankings.

Oprah lived here before she sold her 5,000-square-foot home "after realizing that her neighbors could look into her windows," according to the Chicago Tribune. Some of its impressive buildings were designed by architect/developer Benjamin Marshall, whom the Tribune describes as a "high-living, Jay Gatsby"-esque fellow whose "apartment buildings, with their suites of public rooms gazing out upon expanses of water and dramatic cityscapes, persuaded the rich to abandon mansions for 'mansions in the sky.'"

Yes, it's East Lake Shore Drive, the historic district on Chicago's Near North Side. Its average household income approaches $593,500.

"People who live on East Shore Drive have great views of not only Lake Michigan but a very pretty public garden that lies next to the Drive. It’s a terrific spot," effuses Chicagomag.com, "filled with flowers right now, but it is public, not a piece of your home."

It's the only neighborhood in all of Illinois on the list. In the entire Midwest, only one other neighborhood makes the top 25 cut: Hunting Valley, a leafy village in the Chagrin River valley of suburban Cleveland.

The nation's richest neighborhood is deemed by Business Insider to be the Golden Triangle in Greenwich, Conn., whose residents typically live on one- or two-acre lots and the average household income surpasses $614,000.

Greater Miami actually claims three neighborhoods in the top rankings, including the scenic No. 4-ranked Old Cutler Road-Hammock Oaks neighborhood of suburban Coral Gables (average household income approaching $600,000) and waterfront 11th-ranked Gables Estates in Coral Gables.

Before Johnny Weissmuller started swinging on vines as Tarzan, he taught swimming at the pool at Coral Gables' historic landmark Biltmore Hotel, whose famous guests have included royalty and gangster Al Capone. View the list of the 25 richest neighborhoods in the nation here.

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