Printer's Row

Chicago IL

Design Museum of Chicago
Written By Design Museum of Chicago

The Design Museum of Chicago strengthens design culture and builds community by facilitating the exchange of knowledge through dynamic experiences. Through exhibitions, public and private programs, digital media, and workshops the museum facilitates an open conversation about design across disciplines and borders.

A quarter-mile stretch of Dearborn and adjacent streets is known as Printer’s Row, which once was the center of the Midwest’s printing industry. South of it is Dearborn Park, Chicago’s first neighborhood created on abandoned railway yards. Printer’s Row consists of mid-rise brick buildings of a relatively uniform height built at the turn of the twentieth century.

Directly to the south and on the same side of the street is the Franklin Building (720 South Dearborn St., George C. Nimmons, completed in 1916), which has particularly fine examples of terra cotta tile work on its exterior. The tiles illustrate famous printing stories dating back to the Gutenberg Press.

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Printer’s Row was the first central Chicago neighborhood to undergo adaptive reuse of former industrial buildings turned into lofts and apartments beginning in the late 1970s.

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