architecture history, branding, Central Station, Chicago, Columbia College, Dearborn Park, motor row, neighborhood, prairie district, Printer's Row Chicago, Real estate trends, South Loop, street banners
Last Saturday the Greater South Loop Association held it’s regular community meeting. In 2011 the Association had been approached by Alderman Fioretti’s office to spearhead a branding project for the South Loop. The idea is to create banners that will be hung by the lampposts throughout the neighborhood to help define the boundaries of the greater neighborhood, showcase the smaller neighborhoods that comprise the South Loop, and through this highlight the sense of community that exists here. It’s very much along the lines of what we see in other neighborhoods around Chicago, Old Town has its iron gates, Boys Town has the rainbow pillars, and banners are displayed all over the city to let you know if you are in Lincoln Park, Ukrainian Village, or Logan Square, etc…Being one who often looks for the banners in unfamiliar neighborhoods, to get my bearings, I love this idea for the South Loop!
The branding for the South Loop is being created by students of an advertising class at Columbia College. At first some neighbors were doubtful of what the students would come up with, but, as we learned on Saturday, the team is of seniors who have been part of our community for at least four years. Plus Columbia has shown that it teaches its students to create very professional products. If you haven’t experienced this visit Manifest this year (May 4) and see how careful their craft is. I think most attendees of Saturday’s meeting were pleasantly surprised with the student’s presentation.
The South Loop is full of history and is home to a number of iconic buildings, both new and old. The students focused on this and chose buildings from each neighborhood they were assigned. The buildings come together to form a logo for the South Loop.
Banners will be created for the South Loop as a whole and also for specific neighborhoods such as Printer’s Row. The logo is the same on every banner, but when it is specifying a neighborhood the representative building of that area is slightly enlarged and brought to the front of the cluster. For example in Printer’s Row Dearborn Station (the red one) will be enlarged until it is just a litte taller than the rest, making it stand out, but not completely obstruct the other buildings. The colors of the buildings were taken from the colors of the el lines.
Overall the designs seemed to be very well received. However a few questions remain. Neighbors of the South Loop are asked to view the pdf of the proposal and comment on at the GSLA website here. At Chicago City Estates we would love to hear the views of non-South Loop locals as well. Please leave your comments below.
- The first few pages of the pdf show some alternative buildings. Which do you like better?
- Do you like the new or old architecture for Central Station?
- Do you prefer Motor Row Lofts or BF Goodrich?
- Do you think it is appropriate to use Clark House for the Prairie District?
- It was noted in the meeting that Dearborn Park was left out. What building would you choose to represent Dearborn Park I & II?
- Do you think one of the buildings should be brown to represent the brown line?
- Which would you rather replace with brown the yellow building or the pink one?
- Which tag line do you like best for the neighborhood:
- A Piece of History on Every Block
- The Neighborhood of Neighborhoods
- The True Heart of Chicago
- Which banner design do you like the best:
- The neighborhood in diagonals
- South Loop and the neighborhood around a circle
- Two taglines with the neighborhood banner in 1-color
- One banner design with every neighborhood listed
- Do you have any additional thoughts or comments about this project?