Chicago's West Loop neighborhood is home to businesses and residents who enjoy a dynamic and rapidly growing urban environment. The West Loop is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Chicago. It is home to thriving restaurants, shops, galleries, and spacious residential lofts.
The West Loop Community Organization (WLCO) is a recognized delegate agency for the City of Chicago. Formed in 1991, the WLCO is a membership organization that represents the business and residential communities within the West Loop boundary. Promoting local businesses, supporting economic development and advocating for continued growth are ways in which the organization works to improve the quality of life in the West Loop.
|The neighborhood is bound by Ashland Avenue on the west, the Chicago River on the east, Grand Avenue on the north and the Eisenhower Expressway on the south.|
History of the West Loop
The West Loop is known for its award-winning restaurants, burgeoning art gallery district, boutiques and unique residential loft-style living. Reminiscent of the SoHo area in New York City, the West Loop is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Chicago – but it wasn’t always this way.
Long before the Chicago Fire of 1871, the Near West Side was an area of stark contrast. The rich and poor lived close together. Wealthy Chicagoans built spacious homes while hundreds of less fortunate, many immigrants, migrated to the Near West Side to find peace and prosperity.
In the 1850’s and 1860’s, many immigrants built frame shanties on the prairies within walking distance of the railroad yards and lumber district along the South Branch of the Chicago River. Many ethnic groups left their mark in this part of the city by building a variety of churches which led to many ethnic and religious rivalries.