A LITTLE ABOUT THE SOUTH LOOP
From Taste of Chicago to Lollapalooza, The South Loop is home to an array of attractions, lifestyles, and histories. Dipping a little further into Lake Michigan is Northerly Island, which is considered to be a hot spot for nature lovers and people alike. Bordering the southern side is Soldier Field, Home to the famous Chicago Bears, as well as the Host to 3 Gold Cup finals since 2007. Just a short commute away is, McCormick Place, which happens to be the biggest convention center in the country, Switching gears to “Chicago’s Front Yard,” you have Grant Park. Home to the aforementioned festivals and then some, you can find visitors and residents spending the day attending a festival, ice skating in the winter, or even skateboarding in one of the cities largest skateparks, there will never be a dull moment in Grant Park. With so much history packed into a single neighborhood, you can find history buffs captivated by “Millionaire’s Row.” Containing rows of Mansions built in the late 19th Century by Chicago’s elite. To its eastern edge, you can find the world renowned, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium, These Lakeside attractions are only a short walk to the beach after a long day out. So come explore what The South Loop has to offer, and you’ll be sure to fall in love with its, upscale loft condos, and everything this area has in store for you.
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SOUTH LOOP HISTORY
The South Loop has been quite the chameleon over the years; recent decades have seen huge transitions in the neighborhood fabric. But before we get to that, let’s take a trip back in time to see what got us to where we are today.
Like most of pre-colonial Chicago, the South Loop was once Native American territory. In the 1800s, a group of working-class Irish immigrants began to settle south of the city along the Chicago River, while more affluent citizens built homes on Michigan and Wabash avenues. It is said that the South Loop was one of the first residential districts in Chicago, although it didn’t maintain its residential status for long.
In the 1850s, the railroad industry set up freight houses and passenger stations in the region. When the Great Fire of 1871 struck the city, the South Loop was mainly spared, so the thriving Loop businesses moved into the area while reconstruction took place in other parts of town. The explosion of commercial activity helped spur the South Loop’s development, but another fire in 1874 ended up destroying much of the residential character of the neighborhood.
Railroads were still a large part of the South Loop’s livelihood, and by 1900, tracks dominated the vicinity between State Street and the western edge of the South Loop. More terminals and shipping depots were established, although later declines in passenger train travel left many of the rail yards abandoned and unused. At the same time, the South Loop neighborhood was also experiencing the rise of a prosperous cultural district with the construction of museums and public parks along the eastern waterfront property. This widely-visited section of town has become one of the city’s major tourist attractions, bringing visitors from all over the world to enjoy Chicago’s gigantic playground along the lake.
The past decade or so has seen the most drastic transition toward the vital, urban setting the South Loop is today. Developers, investors and city organizations have been working swiftly to meet the exciting promise of this Chicago neighborhood. In addition to newer residential buildings and condominiums conversions, restaurants, bars, boutiques, cafes, and book stores are moving in and breathing life into this near south side community on the rise.
SOUTH LOOP FACTS
Boundaries: Congress Parkway to the north, the Stevenson Expressway to the south, Lake Michigan to the east and the Dan Ryan Expressway to the west
Bordering Neighborhoods: The Loop, Chinatown, West Loop, University Village/Little Italy, Near South Side
Crime Statistics: Go to CLEARMap to search specific streets and areas for crime incidents.