"Printing House Row Historic District" Printing House Row Tip by Jefie

Printing House Row, Chicago: 1 reviews and 1 photos

  Printing House Row Historic District
by Jefie

In 1976, the Chicago Printing House Row District was declared a National Historic Landmark. Back in the 1890s, Chicago became known as the printing capital of the US, mostly because all the major retail stores, such as Sears and Montgomery Wards, were having their catalogs printed in this small, two-block area that lies just south of the Loop. Throughout the years, the printing companies started relocating to the surburbs, leaving the beautiful, massive brick buildings that characterize the district to fall into a state of disrepair.

Over the past few years, these buildings have been converted into lofts and condominiums, and the Printing House Row District is now quickly turning into a trendy spot for young, up and coming Chicagoans. Even though I thought the brick buildings were a nice change from the glassy skyscrapers of downtown Chicago, I can't say there really was much to see in the area. I did stop by Sandmeyer's Bookstore (714 South Dearborn Street), which is said to specialize in local authors and travel literature, but I left the place empty-handed (and if you know how addicted I am to buying books, that actually says a lot!). So even though I wouldn't necessarily recommend making a big detour to see the Printing House Row Historic District, if you happen to be in the area, it's still nice to walk around for a few minutes to enjoy the change of pace and scenery.

Directions: South Plymouth, South Dearborn and South Federal St., between West Harrison and West Polk St.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 4, 2008
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