As one of the most sought-after areas to live in downtown Chicago, River North has developed into a hub for young professionals, art lovers, and foodies. But like any neighbourhood in a dynamic city like Chicago, this district has worn many hats throughout its inception more than 180 years ago.

20170210b The History of the River North District in Chicago

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Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, and was ideally situated on the waterways for trading. After the Chicago Fire of 1871, River North was rebuilt and quickly filled with municipal buildings, housing for workers, warehouses, shipping facilities, and railroad tracks. It became known as Smokey Hollow because of the amount of factories and forges, filling the air with thick smoke. It was also a major transportation hub for rail and ports. This industrial area later became a warehouse district, with The Merchandise Mart storing many of its goods.

But when the port was relocated, Smokey Hollow was quickly abandoned. The warehouses then shut down and the once industrial neighbourhood became neglected as residents moved to the suburbs. From the 1920’s to the 1960’s, it was known as a deserted and rough area of the city.

However, things began to change in the seventies. Attracted by low real estate prices and large spaces, artists and creatives began reclaiming the area. Old buildings were repurposed into galleries, studios, offices, apartments, shops, and restaurants. The name ‘River North’ was coined by Chicago real estate developer Albert Friedman to help revive the area and shed its reputation as a once abandoned district.

Now it hosts the largest concentration of art galleries outside of Manhattan, and has the highest concentration of restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife in the city. Just about every type of cuisine is covered in this district, with sleek nightclubs, wine bars and craft cocktail lounges dotted throughout.

20170210a The History of the River North District in Chicago

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As a dynamic and growing area, we’re so excited to bring The Hudson to Chicago’s skyline. Developed by Onni Group, this luxury 25-storey rental tower features distinctively designed homes with unobstructed views.

With pre-leasing starting Spring 2017, be sure to register for updates and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for all of the behind-the-scenes news!