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Curbed Cup Final Four: (3) South Loop vs. (7) Uptown

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Which neighborhood should advance to the Finals? 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 put this neighborhood in the top tier and helped it advance to the Final Four.

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 that, the South Loop has the charming historic Motor Row buildings, a pretty awesome dog park, 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.

(7) Uptown

Now, for the South Loop’s competition—former two-time champ Uptown. The neighborhood won the very first two Curbed Cups, and could very well win a third with its rallied support.

The neighborhood is a perfect union of old and new. Its dotted with architectural gems including the Moorish-style Aragon Ballroom, the legendary 100-year-old Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, and even an Art Deco Post Office.

Aragon is just one of many theaters and entertainment venues in Uptown. There’s also the gorgeous Riviera Theater and the movie palace Uptown Theater, which is in desperate need of restoration. A mini pagoda set atop the Argyle el station is a nod to the immigrant community and many Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurants that pack the street nearby.

The neighborhood claims Montrose Beach and The Dock—both popular summertime destinations. The Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary is a unique public space, that provides a scenic rest stop for birds migrating in fall or spring.

In more recent news, Uptown’s historic Agudas Achim Synagogue is being redeveloped into apartments and a handful of TOD projects will bring additional residences to the area. This year the $203 million Wilson stop restoration was completed after nearly three years, signaling an important step in the neighborhood’s restoration.

So, will Uptown make it to the Finals a third time around? Only you can decide. Vote now!