After the Chicago fire of 1871, many wealthy Chicagoans contracted European-trained architects to build new homes and mansions on the City's Near North side. Oak Street soon became the center of the expanding Gold Coast neighborhood and home to some of Chicago's most prominent families. With the turn of the Century, skyscrapers began to grow along neighboring Michigan avenue, but Oak Street retained its historical brownstone character and intimate scale, combining glamorous style with cozy informality. Today Oak Street has become an International style center, housing many of the world's most exclusive boutiques and salons. It is a street which attracts shoppers from all over the world who seek only the best. Oak Street has become a true "destination", a street of dreams where excitement is generated by sophistication and great taste.