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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: (3) South Loop vs. (11) Edgewater

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Which should be neighborhood of the year? Vote now!


The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!

(3) South Loop

Between two new skyscrapers and a massive development from Related Midwest, its safe to say the South Loop has been pretty busy this year. All the massive and high-profile development going on shot this neighborhood to the top tier.

Helmut Jahn and Kara Mann’s 1000M along with Rafael Vinoly’s One Grant Park will make quite a difference in the Chicago skyline.

Chicago’s biggest development, The 78 and Discovery Partners Institute from Related Midwest, was announced for a parcel of undeveloped land. The first glimpse of the project showed a multi-phase, mixed-use plan for the 62-acre vacant riverfront area.

The Discovery Partners Institute is meant to bolster Chicago’s education, research and business resources. And the timing of this announcement hints at the city’s eagerness to attract Amazon’s coveted HQ2.

Aside from having quite a lot of high-profile development news, the South Loop has a pretty awesome dog park, the charming historic Motor Row buildings, and its within arms reach of major venues, Museum Campus and Soldier Field. But there are places to escape the crowds such as the lovely Women’s Park and Gardens or the number of coffee shops, cafes and jazz bars.

(11) Edgewater

Edgewater was once considered one of Chicago’s wealthiest areas, and it could be argued that the neighborhood is headed in that direction again.

The neighborhood’s great parks and beaches are enviable if you’re not a resident. There are diverse restaurant options rooted in the area’s immigrant history and a surprisingly robust antiques market.

Homes in the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District of Edgewater
Homes in the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District of Edgewater
Jeremy Atherton / Flickr

The towering, neo-gothic Saint Ita Catholic Church and the elegant, 1920s Edgewater Beach Apartments known for its pink exterior are both architectural symbols of the neighborhood. The Bryn Mawr historic district, with vintage lamp posts and lantern lights, and the mansions throughout the neighborhood are reminders of old opulence.

Preserving the neighborhood’s old glamour is a task the community takes seriously. That’s why residents have been trying to save the Woodruff Arcade building, a predecessor to the modern mall and the last of its kind in Chicago.

Which neighborhood deserves to move on to the Final Four? Cast your vote below, and may the best neighborhood win!