U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 06-30-2017, 03:59 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,907 posts, read 6,542,365 times
Reputation: 5372

Advertisements

Are Chicago's North Shore and Philadelphia's Main Line unique?

These two are a string of suburbs of major cities that are famed for their wealth. Both are linear and they are linear for the same reason: they grew along commuter rail. They both have distinct identities, a shared sense of place; in other words, there is a commonality that runs through North Shore communities and the same would be true of the Main Line. Neither of them is defined by a legal entity.....they're not counties, they are just an interconnected group of wealthy communities with a real sense of place and a commonality in the communities that encompass them.

I'm a Chicagoan, so obviously I know far more about the North Shore than I do about the Main Line. The North Shore is composed of 8 suburbs along Lake Michigan that begin due north city limits: Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. Highwood, a small community (enclave if you will) that unlike the others is not directly on the lake, is located within the North Shore belt but is not considered a part of it. The North Shore appears to bleed over into areas to the west of it. These adjacent communities like Glenview, Northfield, Northbrook and Deerfield may (or may not) be viewed as having North Shore status. Of the 8 real North Shore communities, one differs in nature as being more of a city than the others. That would be Evanston. But Evanston's wealth along its lakefront doesn't make it a real outlier....in other words, much of Evanston can feel real North Shore (while many parts of it definitely do not; Evanston is a mixed bag) and the city, home of Northwestern, definitely carries prestige and the community contains a large sense of desirability.

Again...I don't know as much about the Main Line but it, too, of course, has its quirks......yet the quirks don't really effect the commonality and perhaps uniqueness of these two communities. I'm hoping the Philly folks can share info about the Main Line.

So.....are they unique? And if they not, what other places could be considered like them.

Again, counties don't seem to work. For all their wealth, counties such as Westchester or Marin are hardly in total made up of wealthy communities; both the North Shore and the Main Line, however, are. The suburbs along Caltrain's route from San Francisco that runs southward from the city to service The Peninsula has towns of great wealth, but they hardly form a real string of solid wealth and they also lack an identity as a distinct place; indeed the area that is recognized as The Peninsula, that the all of the San Francisco peninsula, excluding San Francisco (which is not part of The Peninsula) is made up of many cities that do not carry the image of wealth (Daly City, San Bruno, South SF, etc.).

I don't think Florida's Gold Coast fits the category I suggested since it includes the city of Miami along with that wealth string (Boca, Palm Beach, Delray)

The criteria I'm giving on this one to see if the North Shore and Main Line have any peers in other US metro areas:

1. they are linear by nature, due to the commuter rail lines they grew along

2. they have a sense of common identity and appear to give the impression of being a solid region of wealth.

3. they are not legally defined places....neither is a county

4. they each have a name, a real (though not legal) and recognized name.

Last edited by edsg25; 06-30-2017 at 04:27 AM..
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-30-2017, 06:02 AM
 
106 posts, read 64,848 times
Reputation: 66
The Dallas North Tollway (Billion Dollar Mile).
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-30-2017, 07:06 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,109 posts, read 35,052,903 times
Reputation: 15300
There are other cities where wealthy suburban development followed this pattern. Remember that the North Shore and Main Line suburbs began their lives as 'Country House' destinations for wealthy residents of the city that spent their weeks living closer in. They were basically emulating the traditions of English gentry that kept homes in central London as well as estates away from the city. Rail was created to link these areas, and further development of these communities ensued.
NYC certainly has this situation with Westchester and Fairfield Counties ("The Gold Coast"), the north shore of Long Island, the Hudson River Valley and Bergen County, NJ.
San Francisco also did, as the railroad ran down the peninsula into the San Mateo County communities of Hillsborough, Burlingame, Millbrae, Atherton, Palo Alto and Woodside.
I think most major cities have their wealthy suburbs running out of the city in such a fashion. Atlanta's wealthy 'streetcar suburbs' formed in a line running northeast out of the city towards the town of Decatur: Ansley Park, Inman Park, Morningside and Druid Hills. Buckhead (which began its' life as a 'Country House' destination as well) anchors "The Golden Triangle": Brookhaven, Vinings, Sandy Springs, Roswell and Alpharetta. They, too, served as retreats for affluent citizens back in the day.
In Cleveland, you have a trail that takes you through Shaker Heights, Pepper Pike, Hunting Valley and the other "Heights" communities.
I think that the North Shore and Main Line offer some of the best examples of suburban living in the country, but I don't find their situation particularly unique.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-30-2017, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
3,312 posts, read 1,657,568 times
Reputation: 3586
This is a good observation. I didn't realize it, but the Main Line and North Sore suburbs, while unique in looks and location, do share similarities that make them unique. I'm not sure if another string of wealthy suburbs exist in the same way that these 2 areas do. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any.

Although I don't have a lot of experience with either area, I've been to towns in both areas, and I was struck with how quaint both areas are despite being so close to major cities. They are unique in that they are a string of wealthy suburbs that are close to major cities, yet they have strong identities and don't remind you of typical "suburbia" at all.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-30-2017, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,907 posts, read 6,542,365 times
Reputation: 5372
Quote:
Originally Posted by personone View Post
This is a good observation. I didn't realize it, but the Main Line and North Sore suburbs, while unique in looks and location, do share similarities that make them unique. I'm not sure if another string of wealthy suburbs exist in the same way that these 2 areas do. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any.

Although I don't have a lot of experience with either area, I've been to towns in both areas, and I was struck with how quaint both areas are despite being so close to major cities. They are unique in that they are a string of wealthy suburbs that are close to major cities, yet they have strong identities and don't remind you of typical "suburbia" at all.
As OP, I definitely agree with you here. I liked the input of other forumers, but I'm not sure I saw the same dynamics in operation in other areas as one would see on the North Shore and on the Main Line. Similarities, mind you (one had mentioned the Caltrain route that services cities on The Peninsula.....I also mentioned the same one....but those suburbs on The Peninsula don't form any solid region of wealth, although many of the towns are wealthy. Also, they don't describe a recognized entity....there is no word for Atherton/Hillsborough/Palo Alto, etc. as only terms like "The Peninsula" or "San Mateo Co." (of which they are part, but hardly whole) cover them
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-30-2017, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Lake Spivey, Georgia
1,961 posts, read 1,457,609 times
Reputation: 2172
I would think that the cities/ towns adjacent to the "favored quarters" of many major cities would be kind of like that. Someone mentioned the "Golden Triangle" that emerges from the north side of the City of Atlanta (uptown from the Buckhead district up the GA 400 corridor toward the North Fulton County communities of Sandy Springs, Roswell, and Alpharetta) and of course the "fashionable" Northeast Atlanta neighborhoods that head northeast out of the city (many now actually considered "Intown Neighborhoods" rather than the "suburbs" they started off life as at the dawn of the 20th century: Ansley Park/ Morningside/ Druid Hills, etc.)
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-30-2017, 11:30 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,109 posts, read 35,052,903 times
Reputation: 15300
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
....but those suburbs on The Peninsula don't form any solid region of wealth, although many of the towns are wealthy. Also, they don't describe a recognized entity....there is no word for Atherton/Hillsborough/Palo Alto, etc. as only terms like "The Peninsula" or "San Mateo Co." (of which they are part, but hardly whole) cover them
Frankly, I can't think of any collective of suburbs that is monolithic in its' wealth, and that includes the North Shore and the Main Line. NS has middle and working class suburbs like North Chicago, Waukegan, Evanston and Skokie; the Main Line includes Wayne, Broomall and Media.
Yes, I can't offhand think of a nickname for the San Mateo communities, but I could think of others.

New York = The Gold Coast (Westchester/Fairfield), Locust Valley (Nassau/Long Island)
Dallas = The Park Cities
Atlanta = The Golden Triangle, The Northside
New Orleans = Uptown
Los Angeles = The Hills
Nashville = The West End
Cleveland = The Heights
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-30-2017, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,512 posts, read 2,974,976 times
Reputation: 2742
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
Frankly, I can't think of any collective of suburbs that is monolithic in its' wealth, and that includes the North Shore and the Main Line. NS has middle and working class suburbs like North Chicago, Waukegan, Evanston and Skokie; the Main Line includes Wayne, Broomall and Media.
Yes, I can't offhand think of a nickname for the San Mateo communities, but I could think of others.

New York = The Gold Coast (Westchester/Fairfield), Locust Valley (Nassau/Long Island)
Dallas = The Park Cities
Atlanta = The Golden Triangle, The Northside
New Orleans = Uptown
Los Angeles = The Hills
Nashville = The West End
Cleveland = The Heights
Neither Media nor Broomall (though still relatively affluent) are on the Main Line, while Wayne is quite affluent. None of these areas maybe truly monolithic in their wealth, but they are all uniformly far above average than the norm.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-30-2017, 01:03 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,109 posts, read 35,052,903 times
Reputation: 15300
Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGuyForLife View Post
Neither Media nor Broomall (though still relatively affluent) are on the Main Line, while Wayne is quite affluent. None of these areas maybe truly monolithic in their wealth, but they are all uniformly far above average than the norm.
Not to go OT, but here's an interesting thread from a couple years back:

Main Line communities
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-30-2017, 03:02 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,171,331 times
Reputation: 7739
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
Not to go OT, but here's an interesting thread from a couple years back:

Main Line communities


the list looks good to me in the OP excluding KOP I would not consider KOP a main line town
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top