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"Neighborhoods-Printers Row" Top 5 Page for this destination Neighborhoods-other Tip by Dabs

Neighborhoods-other, Chicago: 50 reviews and 78 photos

  Franklin Company Building
by Dabs
  • Franklin Company Building - Chicago
      Franklin Company Building
    by Dabs
  • Dearborn Station - Chicago
      Dearborn Station
    by Dabs
  • Donohue Building - Chicago
      Donohue Building
    by Dabs

Printer's Row is located south of Congress Parkway, a section of what is becoming known as the South Loop, an area of Chicago that most visitors to Chicago don't wander into. But if you find yourself at the Harold Washington Library, Printer's Row is just south of the library and a walk down Dearborn Street to Dearborn Station will showcase some of the old printers buildings including the Franklin Company building and Donohue Building in the attached photos. The Franklin Company building was designed by architect George Nimmons, the colored tiles with pictures of the origins of the printing industry.

After the Chicago Fire leveled the city in 1871, this section of Chicago, then known as the Custom House Levee District, became the most notorious crime/vice section in Chicago, home to Chicago’s red light district.

By the early 1900s, the once crime ridden district was deserted until the printing companies moved in, giving the area the current name of Printer's Row. The printing industry needed to be next to transportation, here they had both the river and the trains that came into Dearborn Station. The River was also a necessity because the printing industry uses lots of water and emits lots of waste. I believe all of the printing companies are now closed, the buildings converted into condominiums. Dearborn Station, once a recruiting site for the area's prostitutes, is no longer an active station, it now houses a small shopping center.

There are a couple of places to grab a bite to eat that I can recommend on Dearborn, Edwardo's Pizza or Hackney's, a branch of the popular north shore suburban chain, also Orange on Harrison for breakfast/brunch. I haven't eaten at the Custom House but it's received good reviews. There's one hotel that I know of in Printer's Row, Hotel Blake (formerly Hyatt-Printer's Row), at 500 S. Dearborn in the former Morton Salt headquarters.

In the summer there is the popular Printer's Row Book Fair

If you want to read a little bit more about the history of the area, this is a nice write up
Printer's Row history

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 10, 2014
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