Printers Row is one of the best known South Loop neighborhoods, both because it was one of the first to be (re)established as a residential area and because of its well-known summer tradition: Lit Fest (previously the Printers Row Book Fair).
Printers Row is generally defined by Congress Parkway on the north, Polk Street on the south, State Street on the east and Clark Street on the west. Some consider Plymouth Court the eastern boundary and the Chicago River the western edge. It all works.
As the name implies, the buildings in this neighborhood were used by printing and publishing businesses, and the area was the heart of the Midwest’s printing industry for decades. Today, it’s a mix of residential and related commercial spaces.
Much of the neighborhood overlaps with the officially designated landmark Printing House Row District and many of its buildings – including Dearborn Station, the oldest train station still standing in Chicago – are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Even though Printers Row is bordered on the east and west by two of Chicago’s busiest streets, the small scale and architectural details of the buildings, combined with narrow, relatively quiet interior streets, create a sense of intimacy that almost makes you forget you’re surrounded by a thriving metropolis.