Sunday, April 24, 2011

Changing Spaces

Will adding a green/pink line stop on Lake and Morgan Street change West Loop dining?

But it looks like West Loop is already changing faces, and doing so quite rapidly I might add. Apartment complexes, lofts and buisness sprout weekly. Historically the Fulton River District (or West Loop) was known to be somewhat of a cross-roads to moving people and products. Chicago's first railroad terminal was built along Kinzie and Canal around the 1840's. And between the current Ogilvie station and the Kennedy Expressway this area is still host to moving mass amounts of people and products. Over the years the transportation mecca of the Fulton River district had settled to a warehousing district storing much of the products that were shipped. Flash forward to today and you can still see some of the old warehouses between newly developed condo's.  And the city is taking notice to these changes too. In fact, the CTA is currently in the middle of a $38 million dollar project to add a stop off the Green/Pink lines just west of the loop at Morgan street.
Why does this interest me? Besides avoiding the traffic on Lake street? Because what this stop will likely do for the West Loop dining.
Well-known Restaurant Row sits in this area of rapid change and has been seeing some changes of it's own. Relatively recent additions include Girl & Goat, Maude's, & Haymarket. While Marche and Red Light close their doors I can only imagine the restaurant investors who are quick to swoop up the reputable location.Lets not fail to mention the Northern neighbors Next & Aviary amidst the veteran's Moto and Publican.
The new stop sits just north of Randolph and south of Fulton. What a strategically perfect location that will surely make the vastly un-reachable stretch of Clinton to Ashland more accessible.
And while the clientele to these restaurants are more likely to cab it to their $100+ dinners the buissness owners should take note. Opening up shop in this area is probably a good idea.

So while Fulton Warehouse districts fisheries and meat markets are close to extinction I really hope the roots of this area remain intact. Fulton has become a new cross-roads between the suburbanites on the Metra, the Expressway traffic, the diverse Green line clintele, the horse and buggy's which head toward Michigan Avenue and the well-to-do restaurant row diners. I'm sure this wasn't what the city's first railroad terminal could have ever imagined would might pass along their brick roads back in the late 1800's but kudos to Fulton River for becoming a sort of new new-cross roads. And here's hoping the changes don't over-take this neighborhoods historic charm.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there!

    I love the shots of the El - it's such a Chicago-centric image. Great point on the CTA renovating the Green and Pink line. It's such a cool area to set up shop.

    BTW - I wanted to invite you on one of our food tours. Check us out and if your interested give us a shout - K?