There are so many great neighborhoods in Chicago to enjoy. Printers Row is one that has withstood the test of time as a community that continues to develop and thrive. Printers Row is in downtown Chicago in an area known as the Loop, although it’s technically more part of the South Loop.  It is defined by Ida B. Well Drive on the north, Polk St. on the south, Plymouth Court on the east and the Chicago River on the west.  Printers Row is a neighborhood that has a special place in my heart.  I moved to the area back in 1985 and, even then, it was flourishing.  I worked to find many clients the perfect properties in the community, some of which were over 100 years old. In recent years, the community has experienced a huge boom in building, restaurants, and river development providing new attractions on a regular basis.  Read on for a Printers Row Guide that lets you know the things you can enjoy when you explore the area.

Printers Row is so called because the area was once populated with businesses that specialized in printing and publishing. Today, many of these buildings have been converted into fun and trendy residential lofts. The attractions, shops and restaurants contribute to the neighborhood’s fantastic urban vibe.

Key Real Estate Attractions and Living in Printer’s Row

Chicago Printers Row Donahue Building
printers row an oasis in chicago
Printers Row modern building

There are several great looking historic buildings on Printers Row, Chicago. The ones you will want to check out include:

M.A Donahue: This historic 19th century building was designed by Julius B. Speyer and built in 1883. Its design is considered Romanesque. The building features a rounded arched sandstone and granite entry bay and historic vault lights.

Franklin Building: This 14-story brick building is one of the many historic buildings in the City of Chicago Printing House Row landmark district.  It was designed by George C. Nimmons and built in 1916 and is an example of Chicago school architecture.  It features large skylights; terracotta tiles and it is topped with a unique parapet.  The Franklin Building also contains a mural over its main entrance depicting various artisans involved in the printing process.

Dearborn Station: Dearborn Station was in operation from the late 1800’s through to 1971.  It was one of six intercity train stations serving the downtown Chicago area.  The building is now a shopping mall and entertainment space. The exterior is characterized by a 12-story clock tower made of pink granite and red pressed brick.  It is topped by various steeply pitched roofs.

Cultural & Entertainment Attractions

Printer Row Neihgbohood Park
Chicago Tribune Lit Fest
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Chicago offers its share of attractions throughout the year and many take place in the Printers Row, Chicago area.  They include the following:

Printers Row Literary Fest: This annual event brings the community the largest free literary showcase in the Midwest.  The Fest happens over the course of a weekend in mid-September.  It includes speakers, exhibitions, children’s programs, reading, workshops and more.

Printers Row Park: Printers Row Park is a small green space that spans .38 acres.  The Park offers a community garden, seating, and a fountain sculpture.

Jazz Showcase: The Jazz Showcase is a great venue for celebrating the city’s musical heritage.  It features local, national, and international acts.

Printers Row Nearby Attractions

There are also several attractions near to Printers Row, Chicago.  These include:

  • Grant Park is an urban public park that spans over 300 acres.  It contains Maggie Daley Park, Buckingham Fountain, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum Campus and Millennium Park.
  • Shedd Aquarium is a terrific place to check out a variety of aquatic animals.
  • Field Museum is a natural history museum that offers interactive, educational exhibits.
  • The Adler Planetarium is a fantastic destination for learning about space.
  • The Art Institute is one of the world’s most famous art museums featuring collections from around the world and various time periods.

Printers Row Restaurants, Bars and Shops

Printers Row Wineshop
Roots Pizza roof bar at night
Totto's market - Chicago Printer's Row

Restaurants and Bars

Chicago is known for its great food and drinks.  Bars and restaurants in the area you should be checking out in the Printers Row, Chicago area include:

  • Chicago Curry House Indian Restaurant is the place to go if you’re in the mood for Indian & Nepalese Himalayan Cuisine.
  • Bar Louie is a casual dining chain that offers quality American cuisine, martinis and microbrews and happy hour specials.
  • Roots Handmade Pizza is your destination for authentic Chicago style pizza. It also offers draft beer in a modern setting with a retractable roof.
  • Umai: This Japanese restaurant offers a sushi bar, a full bar and authentic cuisine in a loftlike space.
  • Sociale: Sociale is a great place to find wood fired pizza and authentic Tuscan specialties.  Its casual atmosphere is ideal for socialization.
  • Half Sour: Half Sour is a unique deli style restaurant that is new to Printers Row.  Stop in to try one of their innovative dishes served in a casual setting.
  • Amarit Thai Restaurant: Amarit Thai has become a cornerstone of the Chicago community.  It is known for its excellent cuisine, superior service, and fresh ingredients.
  • Sofi: Sofi features classic Northern Italian dishes with an authentic flair.  It offers delectable desserts, house made pastas and an extensive wine list.


If you enjoy shopping, there’s plenty of cool shops and boutiques in Printers Row Chicago to enjoy.  You won’t want to miss out on a trip to:

  • Printers Row Wine Shop is a terrific place to find unique wines and features a very cool wine bar.
  • Sandmeyer’s Bookstore is the perfect addition to Printers Row.  Established in 1982, it’s a mom-and-pop shop offering the hottest new books.
  • Totto’s Market is a recently established, hip grocery market offering fresh food and great customer service.

Schools and Colleges Near Printer’s Row

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high-schools near southloop
College - chicago

There are several schools and colleges in the Printers Row community. Top rated public schools include the South Loop Elementary School and William Jones College Preparatory, a selective enrollment high school.

There are also many higher education facilities in the area. The University Center of Chicago houses over 3000 students. Other nearby colleges include IIC John Marshall Law School, Roosevelt University, the Loop campus of De Paul University, Columbia College and Robert Morris University.

Check out the South Loop page of my website to find out about more schools in the area.

Medical Facilities and Hospitals

It’s convenient to live in a neighborhood with quality medical facilities and hospitals close by.  There are several near the Printers Row area including:

  • Northwestern Hospital: Northwestern offers several doctors that specialize in a variety of conditions as well as emergency services.
  • Rush University Medical Center: Rush ranks as number 19 on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll. It is known for providing top notch adult specialties, procedures, and facilities.  It is a general medical and surgical facility as well as a teaching hospital.
  • University of Chicago Medical Center: The University of Chicago Medical Center offers 75 specialties and services. Their research and discovery program has paved the way for breakthroughs in the medical field.

If Printers Row sounds good to you, contact me to explore what’s out there.  I have listings available in the area as well as other sections of the Loop, South Loop, and other neighborhoods of Chicago.  I will help you find a home that’s best suited to your needs.

Grant Park Legs-sculpture-SL
Fielf Museum - park

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