Right across the bridge from The Loop and bordering busy Michigan Avenue/Magnificent Mile, River North is as dynamic and high-end as many of its neighbors. It’s transformation from smokey, factory-dense district (at the turn of the 20th century it was known as “Smokey Hollow”) to art and design epicenter is quite remarkable: Outside of Manhattan, River North has the highest concentration of art galleries in the country. It is also home to many production companies, photography studios, interior design firms, antique shops, and furniture stores.
The River North Gallery District, located around the intersection of Superior and Franklin Streets, was born in the neighborhood’s 1970s post-industrial age. Artists and entrepreneurs settled in the area to set up studios and showrooms in vacant warehouses, and since then business has boomed in River North.
The neighborhood is also home to quite a few architectural landmarks in the country, including the iconic Wrigley Building, the Trump Hotel & Tower, Marina Towers and the Merchandise Mart.
Jenner Academy of the Arts
The Ogden International School of Chicago
Ruben Salazar Bilingual Center
Practically the entire River North area offers world-class shopping, dining and nightlife experiences. Here are some of the most popular establishments in and around the neighborhood:
River North’s location in the heart of downtown Chicago has made it one of the most desirable places to live in the country. Luxury high-rise and mid-rise condos dominate the housing stock, with new developments continually making their way into the market.
Some of the most prestigious addresses here include neighborhood landmarks like The Montgomery and Trump Tower. Newer developments such as the award-winning The Contemporaine and the Ritz-Carlton Residences offer the first-rate amenities and spacious living on par with the world’s most luxurious properties.
One to watch out for is The Ronsley at 676 N. Kingsbury, a turn-of-the-20th-century building that’s currently being developed to house 41 unique residences with high-end appointments. All around River North are loft and high-rise condos and rentals coming in a wide range of sizes, architectural styles and prices.
Single-family homes are rarities, and while there are still a number of brownstones and greystones in the neighborhood, they’re slowly giving way to the chic and contemporary high-rise condos that are defining the River North landscape.
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