Made Better

The West Loop Community Organization (WLCO) is comprised of board members and staff dedicated to increasing the quality of life in the West Loop. That's why, with so much change happening in our community over the past few years, we began rolling out our new Made Better brand at the start of 2018.

The process included extensive area research, including resident interviews, architectural surveys, and data aggregation. We dug into everything West Loop in order to find the best way to tell our story to the world at large. The resulting designs are inspired from the patterns and textures of key elements within the West Loop’s complex development. Some, like steel, were chosen to celebrate history: The Lake Street Green Line is home to the original 1892 steel “L” tracks, for instance. Indiana limestone — an extremely high-quality quarried sedimentary rock popular in West Loop’s most treasured buildings, because it was wildly popular during the Art Deco era boom — is also part of our re-brand. Maplewood was chosen to celebrate the fact that the modern roller derby was invented here, as intense demand for roller skates began in the 1930s with the introduction of a skate model featuring maplewood wheels. And so on. Each one of these elements individually showcases a different component of our history, and we're always adding to our library. Colored with West Loop Red, these elements are the visual building blocks of a one-of-a-kind identity.

But our Made Better approach is also about a shared philosophy. The West Loop is, more than anything else, a community of makers, and we want to celebrate what makes our neighborhood so special. We’ve redesigned streetpole banner sponsorships to celebrate the people and places of the West Loop. We’ve restructured our membership programs to make it easier than ever before to support the community. Overall, we are continuing to revitalize WLCO’s presence in the neighborhood that we love so much. And we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

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    Old and new, brick remains a West Loop favorite. Whether for a photoshoot or a canvas, we think the area has some of the coolest walls and murals in the Windy City.

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    Every city needs concrete. And the West Loop is no different. Modest, effective, and accessible, the community is literally stitched together by cement.

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    Evolving production techniques in glass have allowed West Loop's open layouts to make use of large swaths of natural light, a characteristic special to the West Loop.

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    The official motto of the City of Chicago is Urbs in horto — "city in a garden." The West Loop is home to Union, Skinner, and Mary Bartelme parks, to name a few.

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    Present in some of West Loop's most treasured buildings, Indiana limestone's popularity boomed alongside the development of the Art Deco era as the go-to high-quality rock.

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    Famed for its meat-packing history, the West Loop continues to be home to the best butcher and deli shops in Chicago. And still, to this day, the area is home to the best restaurants in the entire city.

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    The unofficial logo of the City of Chicago, the municipal device represents the three branches of the Chicago River. You can see it all over town — on manhole covers, bridges, and other infrastructure.

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    Chicago invented the modern skyscraper, and the West Loop is home to the original 1892 steel "L" tracks along the Lake Street Green Line. The exterior design of the John Hancock Center made x-bracing famous.

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    Bordered on the east by the Chicago River, the West Loop is defined by its access to waterways. The river has shaped the landscape here, and with Chicago on the tip of Lake Michigan, fresh water is integral to our identity.

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    When the West Loop invented the modern roller derby as we know it, the skate patent included a very specific notation: maplewood wheels. Our wood icon is a simplified abstraction of that unique grain.

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