The Loop is between the Chicago River on the North and Roosevelt Road on the South, and from Lake Michigan West to Interstate 90/94. Although Chicagoans do not agree on the origin of the Loop’s name, it is said to take after a streetcar from the 1880s or the CTA “El” tracks that looped through the city. In 1885, at the intersection of Adams and LaSalle streets, the first Chicago skyscraper was born, designed by architect and engineer William LeBaron Jenney. By 1973, the Sears Tower was completed and became known as the world’s tallest building, a title it would hold for a quarter of a century. Today, the 110-story building is known as Willis Tower.
The Loop is blocks from the lakefront, Grant Park and Millennium Park with their endless array of activities from swimming and boating to bike trails and jogging paths.
The West Loop of Chicago is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the city. Traditionally a commercial and industrial area, the West Loop’s residential possibilities were first discovered by artists who converted the industrial lofts to living spaces and galleries. Now home to a wide mix of young professionals and other urbanites, the area retains its edgy feel, and avant-garde galleries co-exist with upscale restaurants to form the perfect setting for city living. The West Loop restaurant scene is the hottest in the city. Randolph Street’s “Restaurant Row” is where you’ll find the latest in cutting edge cuisine, but traditionalists still flock to Greektown for their famous flaming cheese.
The West Loop is home to two of the top schools in the Chicago Public Schools system—Skinner Classical School and Whitney Young High School.