West Loop Gate, Chicago

Near West Side
Community area
Community Area 28 - Near West Side


Location within the city of Chicago

Coordinates: 41°52.2′N 87°40.2′W / 41.8700°N 87.6700°W / 41.8700; -87.6700Coordinates: 41°52.2′N 87°40.2′W / 41.8700°N 87.6700°W / 41.8700; -87.6700

Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
City Chicago
 • Total 5.75 sq mi (14.89 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 54,881
 • Density 9,500/sq mi (3,700/km2)
Demographics 2010[1]
 • White 41.99%
 • Black 31.53%
 • Hispanic 9.20%
 • Asian 14.62%
 • Other 2.67%
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes parts of 60606, 60607, 60608, 60610, 60612 and 60661
Median household income $62,770[2]
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

The Near West Side is one of the 77 defined community areas of Chicago. Located (west of the Chicago River), adjacent to the Loop. The rich history of the Near West Side of Chicago includes founding of Hull House, a prominent settlement house.[3] The Great Chicago Fire started in the Near West Side. The area is home to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the United Center and the several major hospitals.


Fulton River District

The Fulton River District makes up the north east area of the Near West Side, just west of the Loop. It is bordered by the Chicago River to the east, Ohio Street on the north, Madison Street to the south, and the Blommer Chocolate Company.

Greek Town

Main article: Greektown, Chicago

Greek Town is a restaurant and nightlife corridor along Halsted Street between Van Buren and Madison Streets. It was popularized in the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," which was actually filmed mostly in Toronto. Formerly part of a larger Greek neighborhood called 'The Delta'.[4] the area home of many Greek restaurants.

Little Italy/University Village

Main article: Little Italy, Chicago

The neighborhood between the Illinois Medical District and UIC's east campus is known alternately as Little Italy or University Village. An Italian community developed in the late nineteenth century. Italians never actually constituted a majority in the polyglot area,[4] but the neighborhood is still home to several Italian-American landmarks, such as the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompei and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, as well as Italian-American social clubs. Taylor Street is home to the Italian restaurants Rosebud, Francesca's, Pompei and Al's No. 1 Italian Beef.

Part of the Italian-American population of the neighborhood was displaced in the 1960s and 70s by the construction of UIC's east campus.[5] The university is the source of the newer name for the area.

Maxwell Street

Main article: Maxwell Street

The blocks around the intersection of Maxwell and Halsted Streets once served as a weekly outdoor market. The area was also a center in the development of the Chicago Blues in the mid-twentieth century. The Market was moved twice in the 1990s and 2000s, and continues on Des Plaines Street. In the 2000s, UIC led a redevelopment of the area, which included new dormitories, parking garages, commercial buildings, and housing.

South Water Market

Chicago's original produce market sat along the south side of the Chicago River, west of what is now Michigan Ave. Incoming vessels could bring fruits and vegetables from the states located around the Great Lakes. This market became known as South Water Market because of its location.[6]

By the 1920s, the market was congested and overcrowded. The City of Chicago built new streets parallel to the Chicago River and moved the market to the neighborhood, alongside the St. Charles Air Line. The three-story buildings were originally designed by the architects Fugard & Knapp.

On July 10, 2003, The Chicago Planning Commission granted their approval on the sale of the produce market for a cost of approximately $36 million to Enterprise Companies of Chicago redevelop into retail and housing.

Illinois Medical District

The Illinois Medical District is one of the largest medical districts in the United States, and the largest in the state. John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County (formerly known as Cook County Hospital), one of the largest county-run hospitals in the U.S. and inspiration for the TV shows ER and The Fugitive, is located here. The District had its start in the 1870s when Cook County Hospital, Rush Medical College, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons were established on the Near West Side following the great Chicago fire of 1871. The cornerstone for the Medical Center was the building of Cook County Hospital in 1876. In 1877, Rush Medical College erected a building next to County at Harrison and Wood. Presbyterian Hospital (affiliated with Rush) was built in 1883. The University of Illinois at Chicago's origins in the District can be traced to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, founded in 1881. In 1917, the State acquired the vacated West Side Park located at Polk and Wolcott for the University.

The district is also home to Chicago Children's Advocacy Center, Chicago Dept. of Public Health and the Cook County Coroner's Office.


Tri-Taylor, the western end of Taylor Street's Little Italy, consists of the roughly triangular area bordered by Congress Parkway to the North, Ogden Avenue to the East, Roosevelt Road on the south and railroad tracks on the west. The neighborhood is traditionally an extension of the Little Italy neighborhood to its east, although it has consistently been one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago as it was situated on the borders of African American, Irish, Hispanic, and Italian areas. It is a residential area for students from UIC. The neighborhood is also home to the Chicago Technology Park research center as well as the West Side Center for Disease Control, the office for the Medical Examiner of Cook County, and Chicago Hope Academy (a private Christian high school that opened in the former St. Callistus School in 2005).

United Center Area

The United Center opened its doors in 1994, replacing Chicago Stadium, which was located across Madison St. The United Center is the home arena for the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks, and also occasionally hosts concerts and other special events. The venue can seat between 20,000 to 25,000 people, depending on the event. A statue of Michael Jordan sits in front of the arena.

West Loop

The West Loop lies along the western bank of the Chicago River. It is bounded by Grand Avenue on the north, Ashland Avenue on the west, the Eisenhower Expressway on the south and the Chicago River on the east. It is the main zone within the Near West Side that is situated as part of the downtown area. Fantastic restaurants line Randolph Street. The area has experienced rapid gentrification and is a haven for young families.

A former manufacturing and warehousing area, many of the buildings have been converted to loft condominiums, restaurants, night clubs, art galleries. It is also the home of Harpo Studios, owned by well known talk show host Oprah Winfrey, and the production site of her syndicated television show.


Designated Chicago Landmarks in the Near West Side include:


The United States Postal Service (USPS) operates the main Chicago Post Office at 433 West Harrison Street in the Near West Side.[7][8] The post office is the only 24 hour post office in the United States.[9] USPS also operates the Nancy B. Jefferson Post Office at 116 South Western Avenue.[10]


Interastates 290 and 90 both run through the Near West Side. Their interchange is a major transportation hub for the region. The southern and western boundaries of the area are defined by busy rail-road tracks. The St. Charles Air Line, at the area's southern edge is also a major passenger train route.[11]

The area is served by the Blue, Green, Pink 'L' lines, as well as many CTA bus routes. Union and Ogilvie station, major terminuses for Metra and Amtrak trains, are on the eastern edge of the Near West Side.


Boeing operates its headquarters at 100 North Riverside.[12] Boeing moved into the facility, formerly the headquarters of Morton Salt, in 2001.[13] Orbitz has its headquarters in the Citigroup Center in the Near West Side.[14]

PepsiCo's Chicago offices are in the Near West Side.[15] Aeroméxico operates the Chicago Downtown Location on the first floor at 954 West Washington Boulevard.[16]

Diplomatic missions

The Consulate-General of Mexico in Chicago is located at 204 South Ashland Avenue.[17]

Historical population
Census Pop.


External links

Chicago portal
  • Official City of Chicago Near West Side Community Map
  • Chicago Arts District
  • Chicago Greek Town
  • West Loop Neighborhood Social Network
  • West Loop
  • Fulton River District
  • Illinois Medical District
  • Rush Medical Center
  • University Village
  • UIC Eye Center
  • Taylor Street Archives; UIC:...Flawed History

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