CITY GUIDE: CHICAGO LOOP | Have you ever wondered how Chicago’s downtown financial district got its nickname, the Loop? If you walk among the city’s iconic skyscrapers that rise high above the cement south of the Chicago River, you’ll quickly notice the train tracks above your head. Those “L” tracks literally loop around the area connecting multiple train lines and it dates back to the 1890s, around the same time our historic downtown Chicago hotel opened.
The Loop is the heart and soul of Chicago’s business district, housing hundreds of thousands of daily workers, countless businesses like United Airlines, AON, and Boeing and so many more. It’s also the seat of our city government with City Hall sitting smack in the middle of the action, but also home to many state government offices. Walk through the historic area and you’ll find culture at every turn with grand theaters like Cadillac Palace, Oriental Theatre, Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and, of course, the Chicago Theater and its iconic marquee lit up at night and the Art Institute just steps from our historic Chicago hotel.
You can enjoy a guided walking tour to see architectural marvels like the city’s tallest building, the Willis Tower, the Chicago Board of Trade, Monadnock Building, the Rookery and the Marquette Building. Or visit many of the murals and larger-than-life public art installations, including the Picasso in Daley Plaza, Miró’s “Chicago” across the street from the Picasso, Chagall’s “Four Seasons” at 10 S. Dearborn, Dubuffet’s “Monument With Standing Beast” at the Thompson Center and, of course, Cloud Gate, a.k.a. “The Bean” set across the street from our hotel near Millennium Park.
While you may think the Loop is just where people go to work during the day, you have so many more reasons to visit Chicago’s historic business district.