The Curbed Cup, our annual award to the Chicago neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious victory. For this week, we'll introduce two matchups per day, and on Friday, the results from the tournament bracket will be revealed. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!
The South Loop is preparing for some very big changes. Perhaps no other neighborhood made as big of a splash in the world of Chicago architecture this year, as the South Loop was the focus of multiple high-profile tower proposals. The neighborhood is getting a new arena designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, a wild-looking museum funded by filmmaker George Lucas, a possible twin tower development designed by Rafael Viñoly and a supertall structure from Helmut Jahn. These projects are helping to boost the neighborhood's architectural profile/status, but are also going to make the area much more densely populated. Beyond rental structures, the area is also getting hundreds of new hotel rooms and heaps of new retail space. The fuse has been lit, but it's going to be another few years until some of these projects become a reality.
The East Village and Noble Square neighborhoods in the West Town community area attract a diverse mix of people. They're also neighborhoods with active community groups and lots of development. Some developers are building new high-tech single family homes in the area, while others are constructing new rental and retail projects. The Polish Triangle is also getting a new high-profile tenant as Studio Gang Architects has claimed the former Polish National Alliance as their new HQ.