Classic Chicago

Motor Row Historic District

Cadillac and Fiat used to have showrooms here. Greats like Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones laid down tracks in a classic studio here as well...


And, now beer flows freely. Chicago’s Motor Row in the South Loop (or the Near South Side, if you want to get technical) is now a historic district lined with buildings, many of which were designed by a few of the city’s great architects. Between 1905 and 1936, dozens of cars models — from Ford and Buick to now-shuttered brands like Hudson and Pierce-Arrow — were sold here. Then Chess Records, one of the world’s pre-eminent blues labels, set up shop at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue and pumped out major records. Today, the building houses Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation and is open to the public. Need a drink? Pop by Motor Row Brewing (2337 S. Michigan) Thursday through Sunday.

From The Vault

Rock & Roll Pole Show Get Bowled Over in the City Explore Global Sounds at the World Music Festival Art, Music and Food at West Loop Art Fest Before Millennium Park? Rail Yards. Podcast: B. Ingrid Olson, Photographer, in conversation with Michael Darling Let the Games Begin! Bowie Book Signing at the MCA