McCormick Square is the recently designated area surrounding McCormick Place. Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (aka McPier), which runs McCormick Place, has rebranded the area around the convention center to draw attention to its future as an entertainment district (learn more about the proposed change here).
McPier defines the boundaries of McCormick Square as roughly 21st Street on the north, the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) on the south, the lakefront on the east and the L tracks on the west. We’ve extended the western boundary slightly to State Street.
McCormick Place has been around since 1960, expanding from one building to four over the last fifty plus years, and adding a Hyatt hotel in 2013. In 2015 construction began on a new Marriott Marquis hotel and the McCormick Place Event Center (aka the DePaul Arena to some) (read the complete history here). Those developments prompted the expansion of the framing of the area from “simply” a convention center to a destination neighborhood that also includes the revitalizing Motor Row area on Michigan Avenue.
The ultimate goal for McCormick Square is to be a place where tourists, convention goers and native Chicagoans alike return to time and again.