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 West Loop is uniquely Chicago, and its vast inventory of industrial buildings and proximity to the Loop is what has helped draw so much investment in the last couple of decades. The area has become known for being the place to go to experience the best dining in Chicago, meanwhile, posh hotels and new offices are also helping transform neighborhood's identity. With Google recently opening its new Chicago HQ in the former Fulton Market Cold Storage building, the continued construction on the upcoming Ace Hotel and the big residential makeover of the shuttered Salvation Army Freedom Center campus, the area will continue changing and gaining more investment well into 2016.
The Pullman neighborhood on the far South Side had a very big year. The area, which is known and named for its connection to the Pullman Palace Car company, was designated as a National Monument by President Obama in February. Then in April, the soap maker Method opened its $30 million eco-conscious factory in the neighborhood. Pullman gained a lot of momentum this year, and the neighborhood doesn't appear to letting down anytime soon. When we called for Curbed Cup nominations, Pullman residents came out in droves to make sure that their voice was heard. Two historically industrial neighborhoods are pitted up against one another for the Curbed Cup, but only one can advance.