River North previously was named Smokey Hollow around the turn of the 20th century due to the many factories and forges in the area. Railroad tracks and the Chicago River were the primary transportation for manufactures in the area. In the 1970’s many of the warehouse buildings were converted to workspace for artists and advertising executives. Many galleries and artists are still in the area. The housing includes warehouse loft conversions, newer mid and high-rise buildings, a small collection of single-family homes, and a dash of vintage walk-up buildings.
The average drive time to the loop is 5 minutes and 30 minutes to O’Hare or Midway.