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Chicago Loop

From Academic Kids

Loop (Chicago, Illinois)
Community Area 32 - Loop
Missing image
US-IL-Chicago-CA32.GIF
Chicago Community Area 32 - Loop


Location within the city of Chicago
Latitude
Longitude
Template:Coor dm
Neighborhoods
ZIP Codes 60601, 60602, 60603, 60604, and parts of 60605, 60606, 60607, and 60661
Area 4.09 km² (1.58 mi²)
Population (2000)
Density
16,388 (up 37.09% from 1990)
4,004.7 /km²
Demographics White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Other
62.1%
19.7%
5.95%
9.92%
2.43%
Median income $65,128
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

The Loop is what locals call the downtown neighborhood of Chicago. It is the second largest downtown business district in the United States, after Midtown, Manhattan. Bounded on the west and north by the Chicago River, on the east by Lake Michigan, and on the south by Roosevelt Road, the lack of space created the necessity of height for buildings. From the Home Insurance Building, considered the first skyscraper, to the Sears Tower, the tallest in the United States, the Loop has had a long history of verticality in buildings. Some of the historic buildings in this district were instrumental in the development of high-rises.

"The Loop", while more generally meaning the entire downtown neighborhood, also more specifically describes that smaller section of the neighborhood which is surrounded by the circuit formed by Chicago's elevated "L" trains. The circuit runs along Lake Street on the north, Wabash Avenue on the east, Van Buren Street on the south, and Wells Street on the west. The name, however, predates the elevated loop, coming from a streetcar loop in 1882.[1] (http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthemove/themes/story_45_1.html)

This area has a wealth of shopping opportunities, although it competes with the more upscale Magnificent Mile area to the north, and with suburban shopping malls. It includes Chicago's famous Marshall Field's department store, a traditional favorite for viewing Christmas window displays, and the original Carson Pirie Scott store.

It is the location of a number of government buildings, including City Hall, the State of Illinois buildings, the Richard J. Daley Center, and multiple federal buildings. Chicago's Downtown Theatre District is also found within this area, along with numerous restaurants and hotels.

"The Loop" has a vibrant business life.

The heart of "The Loop" is State Street, that "great street", as Frank Sinatra called it in his memorable salute to Chicago— "My Kind of Town".

According to the 2000 census, 16,388 people live in the Loop. It contains a wealth of outdoor sculpture, including works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, and Alexander Calder. Chicago's cultural heavyweights, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Goodman Theatre, the Lyric Opera at the Civic Opera House building, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, are also in this area.

The historic Palmer House Hilton hotel is to be found on East Monroe Street.

Chicago's lakefront, which is almost exclusively recreational park area from north to south, features Grant Park in this downtown area. Grant Park is the home of Buckingham Fountain, the Petrillo Bandshell, the Grant Park Symphony (where free concerts can be enjoyed throughout the summer), and Chicago's annual two-week food orgy, the Taste of Chicago, where more than 3 million people "pig out". A recent addition to Grant Park is the architecturally forward Millennium Park, which opened in the summer of 2004, featuring a Frank Gehry bandshell along with the Anish Kapoor "Cloud Gate" sculpture and spanning what were formerly open railyards on the city's lakefront.

Chicago, known for its many neighborhood festivals during the warm-weather months, has not neglected this area and ensures that downtown is also the site for a number of festivities.

The Chicago River, which delineates the area, also provides entertainment and recreational opportunities, including the annual dyeing of the river green in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Trips down the Chicago River, including architectural tours, by commercial boat are great favorites with both locals and tourists.

See also: Chicago Loop (a movie by James Benning)

Contents

Alternate meanings

Although every Chicagoan knows where the Loop is, personal opinions of its boundaries are as diverse as the people who live there.

The community area boundaries are: the Chicago River on the north and west, Roosevelt Road on the south, and Lake Michigan on the east. Since the City of Chicago only recognizes community areas, these boundaries are considered official.

The general neighborhood boundaries are: again, the Chicago River on the north and west, Congress Parkway on the south, and Michigan Avenue on the east. South of Congress is generally called "South Loop" (not to be confused with the south part of the Loop).

Finally, the Loop proper is considered to be the five-by-seven-block area contained within the circuit formed by elevated Chicago Transit Authority train lines. These boundaries are: Lake Street on the north, Wells Street on the west, Van Buren Street on the south, and Wabash Avenue on the east.

A minority of people, typically suburbanites unfamiliar with urban neighborhood dynamics, would consider North Michigan Avenue part of the Loop. This is incorrect on many levels; it is officially part of the Near North Side community area.

Neighborhoods

Printer's Row

Printer's Row, also known as Printing House Row, is a neighborhood located in the southern portion of the Loop community area of Chicago. It is bounded by Congress Parkway on the north, Polk Street on the south, Plymouth Court on the east, and the Chicago River on the west. The signature street is Dearborn Street where the annual Printer's Row Book Fair [2] (http://www.printersrowbookfair.org/) is held.

Originally, the buildings in this area were used by printing and publishing businesses. Today, the buildings have mainly been converted into residential lofts.

It is an official landmark district [3] (http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Landmarks/P/PrintingHouseDistrict.html), though the landmark boundaries differ slightly from what most would consider Printer's Row.

External links

  • Chicago Park District
    • Grant Park (http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/parks.detail/object_id/83AA6305-ADBE-4D8A-B333-004449057EA9)
    • Buckingham Fountain (http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/buckinghamfountain.fountainhome)

Template:Chicagode:Loop (Chicago)

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