A Different View of the West Loop

See the West Loop in the 1800s

Chicago’s West Loop/Fulton Market District is, no doubt, one of the hottest areas in the city to go out for food, drinks and fun with places like Girl & The Goat, Lone Wolf, Au Cheval, Soho House, The Publican, Bottom Lounge and the Aviary. Before Vivo opened about 25 years ago beginning the transformation of the now-uber-hot Randolph Street restaurant row, this area was pretty desolate, somewhat of a skid row.

But there was a time back in the late 1800s and around the turn of the 19th century, long before meatpackers and Oprah moved in, that this area was home to many immigrants arriving in Chicago. It was also here, in Haymarket Square, where farmers would set up shop and sell produce before the infamous riots broke out in 1886 to combat poor labor conditions and low wages. Even before that, West Market Hall, a large public food hall and meeting space, stood in the middle of Randolph Street between Desplaines and Halsted streets. It would be torn down in 187 and the street would eventually get widened paving the way for what we now know as the Fulton Market District. Check out the collection of photos from Calumet412.com showing a piece of history. Compare it with shots of Randolph Street today.

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