“Chicago Tonight” in your neighborhood: South Loop | Chicago News

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Another sign that Chicago is back to normal is that conventions are starting to return to Chicago, including the Chicago Auto Show at the McCormick Place Convention Center in South Loop in mid-July.

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Officials say the huge event space had an economic impact of $ 1.9 billion on pre-COVID-19 cities, but almost disappeared during the pandemic.

“When people come, our goal and role is to organize conventions, trade shows and conferences, which will allow people from all over the world to spend time in Chicago,†explains Larita Clark. Said. CEO of Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which oversees McCormick Place. “It will boost the economy of restaurants and hotels, and people will spend their money to create jobs.”

video: See a full interview with Lalita Clark.


The convention center is located in the South Loop neighborhood of the Near South Side, which is home to approximately 24,000 Chicago citizens and, of course, is home to many businesses, restaurants, and concert halls.

As the convention comes to life, Alderman Pat Dowell of District 3 works to connect the community with the convention center, raising $ 10 million in tax increases for the cityscape along Motorrow. He indicates that he takes care of pedestrian traffic to the company.

She added that companies in this field have done quite well during the pandemic, and although more companies are active, the treaty adds even more value.

“We are really delighted with the return of the auto show. We are really excited to bring more attention to Chinatown. Chinatown is back. So the real goal is South Loop, it’s about connecting Motorrow, McCormick Place, Chinatown and Bronzeville, â€says Dowell.

video: See a full interview with Aldo. Pat Dowell.


One of the long-standing businesses here is Reggies, a restaurant and venue for live music and comedy in the South Loop.

Owner Robbie Glick says patrons have returned to good health since the city reopened, providing work for everyone from waiters to lighting technicians playing live music. We appreciate.

And the majority of its clientele are the same people backstage at the convention center.

“It’s mostly the people who put the show up and down, so it’s mostly the decorators, riggers, carpenters and crew stars who come for lunch and come back after the show,†said Glick. I go.

According to Glick, there are typically around 50 bands per week between the three Regise rooms, which has yet to hit that level, but we expect performance to improve significantly in the fall.

A long-standing business in South Loop is Reggies, a restaurant and venue for live music and comedy. (WTTW News)

Right next to Reggies and just north of Motorrow is what’s called Record Row, which is home to Chicago’s rich blues history.

The last trace is Chess Records, where great musicians like Etta James, Chuck Berry and Willie Dixon made the music.

Judge Janine, Executive Director of Willie Dixon’s Bruce Haven Foundation, will help keep Willie Dixon’s memory alive here. And just this week, she resumed her tour of the building for the first time in 16 months.

“I want the city of Chicago to embrace its musical genre. Few cities can really claim a musical genre. Chicago blues is actually a genre in its own right, â€said Willy Dixon. Thus, “the blues has its roots and the rest is fruitâ€. Almost all of the music comes from blues music, â€the judge said.

Chess Records at South Loop is where great musicians such as Etta James, Chuck Berry, and Willie Dixon have made music. (WTTW News)

Record Row has a history of music, Motor Row has a history of cars, but South Loop also has an important architectural history.

The heritage epicenter is the Gresner House, one of the original Prairie Avenue homes from the late 19th century. Built in 1887 by architect Henry Hobson Richardson for the Gresner family. Part is to show their success and their wealth.

“The South Loop was very popular because it was close to downtown, easy to get to business, and didn’t have to worry about crossing the river,†House Curator Bill Tire said. .. “But in the early part of the 20th century, as the city grew and became more accessible to parts of the city, people left the South Loop and wandered for a very long time, mostly around the Gresner house. That’s why her home was ultimately lost, â€said Tyr.

And today, only seven of the original 90 houses are still standing.

Tire, who literally wrote a book on Prairie Avenue and Its History, says houses like Gresner House are important to understanding the history of the city and how it developed rapidly when it happened. say.

And many of the Chicago institutions we know today, such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Art Institute of Chicago, were created by Gresner and his contemporaries.

Gresner House resumed the tour in March of this year.

The Gresner House is one of the original Prairie Avenue homes from the late 19th century.  (WTTW News)The Gresner House is one of the original Prairie Avenue homes from the late 19th century. (WTTW News)

Community Report Series

“Chicago Tonight” expands community report. I am on the streets talking to my neighbors, local businesses, agencies and leaders about COVID-19, the economy, racial justice, education, etc. Use the map below to see where we are and what we have learned. You can also use the drop-down menu to select a community.point red Represents our COVID-19 series across Chicago. Blue Mark our “Chicago Tonight†series in your neighborhood.


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