Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Printer's Row: Chicago's first condominiums

Chicago's first condominiums were established in Printer's Row.  Here what was once factory and warehouse space for the printing industry was converted into residential space in the 1970s.  This was in some ways a watershed moment for Chicago.

On the map you can see the centrality of this location.  It is near the lake and Grant Park and in the locus of the main rapid transit lines in Chicago.

As you can see from the map, it is in walking distance to the blue line subway at LaSalle, the red line subway at Harrison, the brown/orange/purple line elevated at Van Buren, and the Metra at LaSalle.

Its walkable score is a perfect 100.

One can survey this neighborhood in many ways, but one way to think of it is the transitional nature of industrial cities in America.  Over the last 40 years the number of people working in manufacturing has declined, despite the overall increase in manufacturing output.

Manufacturing jobs peaked in the late 70s and have steadily declined both in terms of percent of the total workforce and total number of workers.

The re-purposing of Printer's Row from manufacturing to residential use coincides with the overall decline in manufacturing employment in America.


  1. Technology is what made the manufacturing output increase dramatically. It is also the same reason why manufacturing jobs decreased. This is what progress has done.

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