Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We haven't done this in awhile. And things change. So for 2007.....

Where would you put the northern, western, and southern boundaries of downtown today?

If and when the Circle Line is built, would you envision as extension northward, westward, southward?

I'd go with:
• north to North Avenue
• south to Cermak/Chinatown/McCormick Place
• west to UC/Medical Center
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
'Downtown' is such a dodgy concept. For me, it's always been the Loop and just the Loop. 'Central Chicago' is larger and would include River North, West Loop and South Loop.

I suppose it's all a personal perception, really.
 

·
born again cyclist
Joined
·
3,671 Posts
to me, downtown's boundaries are dearborn, washington, clark, & randolph.

it's all subjective.

and essentially meaningless.
 

·
Jack-Of-All-Trades
Joined
·
1,391 Posts
Yeah... I mean, Chicago's downtown has, what, only one significant highrise? But it also has the most space, percentage-wise, dedicated to public art of any downtown in the world.

:lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
The 312 area code, which is essentially:

• north to North Avenue
• south to Cermak/Chinatown/McCormick Place
• west to UC/Medical Center
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,850 Posts
Well, what do we base our image of "downtown" on? Wasn't this a concept that originated in New York? Do we just think "tall buildings=downtown"?

Well, I say anything east of the highway, north McCormick, west of the lake, and south of north.
 

·
muted
Joined
·
7,080 Posts
Ashland as a western border is too generous. Take the Green or Pink Line to Ashland or the Amtrak to Milwaukee. There are large swaths of warehouses and decrepit buildings west of the Loop--with so much potential-- untouched by residential conversion that feel nothing like the way "downtown" ought to feel. There's little if any pedestrian activity and no cabs of which to speak.

Expressway on the west
Chicago on the north
Roosevelt on the south
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
For me it's pretty much defined by Michigan Avenue from Congress to Randolph, Randolph East to Lake Shore, Lake Shore north to the river, and the river all the way around back to Congress.

Just a completely different atmosphere within that area than even places a block or two away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
For me it's pretty much defined by Michigan Avenue from Congress to Randolph, Randolph East to Lake Shore, Lake Shore north to the river, and the river all the way around back to Congress.

Just a completely different atmosphere within that area than even places a block or two away.
Thats why I make a distinction between the Loop and downtown. The Loop is the core of downtown which is pretty much as you describe and downtown is a much bigger area that is pretty much anything within walking distance or a short transit ride to the Loop. I dont think its as simple as having four borders because there are areas within the western/north/lake/stevenson block that I dont consider to be downtown and I cant find a site that gives me difinitive boundaries of the 312 area code but basically just about anywhere I know of that has a 312 number I would consider downtown.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
I grew up on the northwest corner of 33rd and Lowe, in Bridgeport. When they instituted 773, the people across 33rd were issued it, but my house stayed true to the 312. Now, I never considered Bridgeport to be anything like downtown, but I guess it's all relative. When someone out here in the world asks me where I'm from, I say Chicago and then have to specify: No, not the suburbs, no, not even close to suburbs- basically downtown.

But do I really consider myself as having grown up 'downtown'? Not at all.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Central Chicago is no Manhattan-like island. The lines between downtown core and the three sides of Chicago shift...with the core always the winner.

However, might it not be a good idea to start looking at Central Chicago as an "island"....both officially and informally? Could such a perspective aid the planning and promotion of this expanded Central Business (and Pleasure) District?

Awhile back I had suggested that as the elevated line (and street car lines that preceeded it) around the original downtown Chicago gave that area its Loop name...that a new area defined by the Circle Line may be termed "The Circuit" to promote and dictate development inside an area that has become the Super Loop.

I still think the idea of a name...be it "The Cirucit" or not...would be a good idea in changing local and national perceptions of our downtown and in guiding its plans for the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
'The ciruit' sounds cool. More likely though when it happens it will be called the outer and inner Loop though, people prefer to use the same names associated with a city. But who knows? A new name would be refreshing.

It will be awesome if the circle line is built, and I think it will eventually completely redefine what we think of as downtown. Especially if utilized and funded properly (we can only pray).
 

·
Weather makes the Wind.
Joined
·
478 Posts
Downtown includes Near North (North Ave. south to the River and west to the river. The Loop is in the middle from the river down to congress. After that Near South from congress to Chinatown. That would be the nuclear downtown, not including downtown area which are the surrounding neighborhoods (West Loop-Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Pilsen ,Douglas) and then the "City" which is mostly the lake front from Rogers park in the north to South Shore in the south; total distance about 17 miles.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
expansion of downtown Chicago traditonally has been more north-south than east-west (actually east is virtually impossible...let's just call it west).

how much of westward expansion has been on a slow track based on this area being away from the lake? and if that lack of lakeshore has been an issue for an inland march of the CBD, does it need to continue to be?

The inland areas of the near west side are no different than many major cities without a real downtown waterfront but plenty of downtown growth: LA, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Atlanta come to mind.

With today's technology we are able to make such places pulse with excitement even without water.

Could the city seek to find ways to make the near west areas inviting to an expanding downtown? Might the Eisenhower Expy, both on its north and south flanks, be turned into an inland LSD with condo towers lining the way? Perhaps even covering over the Ike and building parkland atop a la Boston's Big Dig would make this area more inviting. Indianapolis's old canal system is used today as a downtown amenity. Could canal off shoots be built out of the Chicago River and snake through near west neighbborhoods, creating small scale versions of the Chgo River itslef?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
im starting to lose interest fast in this general section,
my threads languish while the umpteenth
redifinition of downtown does gangbusters, sorry to try to bring novel topics to light.

didnt steely dan say once that its stupid to try to define downtown,
and edsg always says that you cant compare newyorks downtown to chicagos,

so chicago is destined to have some amorphous limits to downtown,
which i dont buy,

its the loop (downtown) why do we aspire to be more vague, when i describe where i am or live or am going i am specific
if you guys want downtown to be super large amorphous area that continues to grow and engulf lincoln park, go ahead, but i dont buy it. Near north means Near north, its just north of what? Im waiting, uh nothing?
I think its north of downtown and thats how it got its name, oh you so say now it just means that its north of the zero, zero point and thats all it means,
nope dont buy that either.

more tall buildings next to downtown dont mean that downtown is bigger, but it just means that there are more tall buildings,
not an exciting topic.

a retread.

oh yeah btw newyorks downtown will never get bigger, just ask edsg why,
im sure he a good explanation for that one.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
im starting to lose interest fast in this general section,
my threads languish while the umpteenth
redifinition of downtown does gangbusters, sorry to try to bring novel topics to light.

didnt steely dan say once that its stupid to try to define downtown,
and edsg always says that you cant compare newyorks downtown to chicagos,

so chicago is destined to have some amorphous limits to downtown,
which i dont buy,

its the loop (downtown) why do we aspire to be more vague, when i describe where i am or live or am going i am specific
if you guys want downtown to be super large amorphous area that continues to grow and engulf lincoln park, go ahead, but i dont buy it. Near north means Near north, its just north of what? Im waiting, uh nothing?
I think its north of downtown and thats how it got its name, oh you so say now it just means that its north of the zero, zero point and thats all it means,
nope dont buy that either.

more tall buildings next to downtown dont mean that downtown is bigger, but it just means that there are more tall buildings,
not an exciting topic.

a retread.

oh yeah btw newyorks downtown will never get bigger, just ask edsg why,
im sure he a good explanation for that one.
look at it this way, wong: this thread is a great place for you to cure your insomnia. cheer up, half of the threads I start make no sense to those who read them and they just scratch their heads without responding thinking "what the f is this guy talking about". a thick skin helps.

meanwhile, regretably, i will be ignoring your suggesting and adding one of my own: determine the outer limits of The Greater Imperial Downtown District of Chicago (TGIDDC) and built either a moat or a wall around it (the wall should be sturdy enough to support construction of the circle line through its guard towers.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
oh yeah btw newyorks downtown will never get bigger, just ask edsg why,
im sure he a good explanation for that one.
The Troll of Tribeca guards the northern flanks of Lower Manhattan. He will not allow for downtown expansion until either Rip Van Winkle wakes up from his present nap or Moses brings the Israelites to the Delancy Street than allows them to return to the promised land of the Lower East Side without him.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top