The Chicago Neighborhood Map
Looking at the Chicago map with a fresh set of eyes, it could be mistaken for a wonky patchwork quilt. The Chicago neighborhood map is a bright collection of different squares, parks, woods -- any renter familiar with a map of Chicago neighborhoods may pick up on that prevalent naming theme among the city’s neighborhoods: there are 3 “Woods,” 6 “Squares,” and more than 50 “Parks” among the list of 77 Chicago neighborhoods.
To be more accurate, the Chicago subway map or the CTA train map follows the same geographical imprint of the city: good coverage north-south, a few branches to the northwest and southwest, then a tight series of concentric circles around downtown. This encircled area became known as the Loop as a nod to the many train lines making the circuitous route through the heart of downtown Chicago.
A map of downtown Chicago will reveal the truth that many longtime Chicago renters know: this concentrated area of skyscrapers, office towers, theaters, and museums only makes up a few square miles of Chicago’s footprint but, not surprisingly, all trains and roads lead there eventually. So reliant on the centrality of downtown Chicago, the Chicago neighborhoods map conforms to the grid coordinates system that originates in the Loop at State and Madison Streets. This way, any wayward traveler trying to figure out their position in the city need only glance at the numbered and directional street signs to get a sense of how far they are from the core of Chicago’s downtown.