Centrally located and ranked second amongst the largest business districts in the US, The Loop is located with the Chicago River to its North, Roosevelt Road to the South, Lake Michigan to the East, and Wells Street or Interstate 90/94 to the West.
Although Chicagoans cannot seem to agree on the origination of The Loop's name, it is said to take after a streetcar from the 1880’s or the CTA “El” tracks that looped through the city of Chicago serving as their source of transportation. This foundation of transport allowed The Loop to be architecturally sound from a young age.
After The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, many Chicago architects such as William Le Baron Jenney, John W. Root, Daniel H. Burham, and many other were marking their territory with the Chicago skyline. In 1885, at the intersection of Adams and LaSalle streets, the first Chicago skyscraper was born. This 9 story structure was soon trumped by the creation of the Masonic Temple with over 20 stories in 1932. On October 26, 1921 the opening of the Chicago Theatre wowed millions. Within the same time frame, the well-known Chicago Board of Trade, located at 141 Jackson Blvd. was constructed and by 1973 the Sears Tower was completed and became known as the world’s tallest building (for a quarter century) with a whopping 110 stories standing 1450 feet tall. To add, in 1975 Water Tower Place was established in the north Loop which hosts 75 floors with many high-end hotels and shopping for entertainment.
As you can see, the history of The Loop has had profound affects within the city of Chicago, not to mention the rest of the world.
It’s no wonder this neighborhood has been nicknamed the “Bustling Loop” with all its architectural sensations; however, residential real estate is intertwined within the area. If you’re in need of single family home or a walk-up, this is not the neighborhood for you. To keep up with the architectural theme of The Loop, you will find many high-rise buildings including mostly lofts, studios, and 1-2 bedroom condos. Although these high-rise buildings include some attractive amenities, parking is in high demand which becomes relevant with price tags of $50,000 and up. On the other hand, with the hub of Chicago’s transportation network located in The Loop, a car is not necessary.
With easy access within the city and to the burbs, it’s no surprise that this area is popular among adults to further their education. No matter if you’re looking to practice law or get your fine arts degree, The Loop can accommodate your needs with this list of schools: American Academy of Art, City Colleges of Chicago, Columbia College, DePaul University, Goethe-Institute Chicago, Harold Washington College, International Academy of Design and Technology, John Marshall Law, Keller Graduate School of Management, MacCormac College, Robert Morris College, Roosevelt University, School of the Art Institute or Chicago, Taylor Business Institute, and Westwood College of Technology.
Searching for a place to relax or blow off some steam from a hard day’s work? This area is mere blocks from the lakefront and Grant Park. The lakefront provides the setting for an endless array of activities from swimming and boating to bike trails and jogging paths.
The Loop offers many additional extracurricular actives for either the suits to grab an after-work drink, the students to snatch a quick bite, the fashion focused residents to do some shopping, the night clubbers to bar hop, or the theatre buff to catch a show. Some restaurant hot spots include Atwood Café, Petterinos, the Italian Village, Trattoria No 10, Kamehachi, and Everest to name a few. If you enjoy the performing arts, visit the Ford Center of Performing Arts on Randolph for fantastic live theatre. In regards to shopping, your choices range from Carson Pirie Scott, Filene’s Basement, Gallery 37, Kramer’s Health Food Center, Macy’s – Formerly Marshall Fields, Rock Records, and many others. Pinter's Row is located close to State Street in The Loop and Michigan Avenue’s “Magnificent Mile”, one of the most elite retail districts in the nation.
Several hospitals are located in the area including University of Chicago Hospital, Rush Presbyterian, St. Luke’s Medical Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The Loop is the hub of the transportation network in Chicago. Chicago’s CTA train system has 7 different color coated routes (or lines), all of which merge within The Loop giving you access all parts of the city and neighboring suburbs. If you prefer to travel by bus, you’re in luck. There are also many bus routes that can accommodate your traveling needs. Cabs are not to be forgotten, however, if you’re looking to save money the CTA is the way to go. If you're traveling from out of state or have your own vehicle, hop on I-90/94 and I-290 which will bring you into the bustling Loop.