Rent an apartment in the Loop and you’ll loom large over the city. This is the historical, business, theatrical, commercial, and governmental center of Chicago. Big city hustle and bustle flows strongly here—even through the Chicago River, which gets dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day. You’ll find the tallest building in the United States in the Loop, as well. So, if you’re eager for mainstream entertainment and don’t mind a tourist or two thousand, then maybe living in this neighborhood suits you.
In 1803, the U.S. Army built Fort Dearborn near where the Michigan Avenue Bridge stands today. That was the first real United States settlement in Chicago. The first skyscraper in the world was erected here less than a century later, in 1884. Scholars debate whether the neighborhood’s name comes from an early area cable car turn-around or from the elevated railway that encircles the district. Either way, everyone calls it the Loop. Its dramatic skyline defines the heart of Chicago.
While the Loop revolves around business, it’s still a great place to eat, shop, and relax. The Loop Retail Historic district offers department stores, restaurants, and more. There are nightclubs, galleries, and eateries in the West Loop. While a lot of food options are business lunch places, area universities keep some places open at night.
Grant Park is known as “Chicago’s back yard.” Its lawns neighbor Millennium Park, filled with innovative architecture and art. In the Loop you’ll find the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Joffrey Ballet, and outdoor sculpture by Picasso, Chagall, and others. Don’t miss the annual festivals in Grant Park, too, such as Taste of Chicago.
Renting a place in the Loop most likely puts you in a high-rise apartment or a residential loft. It’s a busy, occasionally loud neighborhood. Expect your neighbors to be young professionals who like living close to the office. You’ll pay around $1,813 for a one-bedroom apartment in the Loop.
Being in the heart of the city, you couldn’t ask for better access to public transportation. You can catch the entire rainbow of ‘L’ lines from the Loop, plus commuter rail lines and buses. There’s a decent chance you’ll be able to commute on foot if you live in the Loop.
The Loop falls within two Chicago City Council wards—the 2nd and the 42nd. You’ll find the central Harold Washington Library branch of the Chicago Public Library and a handful of United States Post Offices in the Loop.
Zip codes serving The Loop are 60601, 60602, 60603, 60604, 60605, 60606, 60607, and 60674.