To find the best apartments in Chicago near the arts, we sifted through all the data from rent.com and compiled a list of places to find art. Then we compared that to the listing of every apartment building on the site to determine the top 10 apartment locations in Chicago to access the arts in all its forms.
10. Lofts at Gin Alley
Photo courtesy of Lofts at Gin Alley
Enjoy true loft living in style at the Lofts at Gin Alley in the West Loop. Exposed bricks and beams, high ceilings and hardwood floors are married with plenty of closet space and in-unit washers and dryers. The Sky Deck offers stunning 360-degree city views with a state-of-the-art fitness center, which means you don’t need an additional gym membership to stay healthy and in shape.
West Loop is home to several art galleries, including Mars Gallery with its eclectic and unique artwork set up within rooms. It’s also within walking distance of the new pop-up-turned-permanent wndr museum, an Instagrammer’s delight. Or, if you need to frame something you bought at one of the many art fests held throughout the city, stop by Supreme Picture Frame to get it professionally framed.
9. The Chatelaine
Photo courtesy of The Chatelaine
Elaborate crown molding, arched passageways and detailed fireplaces are just some of the architectural details within each vintage apartment at The Chatelaine, conveniently located just east of the Magnificent Mile and steps away from Water Tower Place. With only four units per floor, it’s easy to feel the privacy and exclusivity this building affords its residents.
The architectural details continue throughout the building as ceiling crown moldings and a stunning globe chandelier greet guests at the entrance. Each resident has access to a fully-landscaped rooftop deck complete with gas grills and a wood-paneled seating area.
Take advantage of the historic building’s proximity to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which hosts Tuesdays on the Terrace, its annual summer performance series highlighting artists from Chicago’s internationally-renowned jazz community.
8. Arkadia West Loop
Photo courtesy of Arkadia West Loop
Floor-to-ceiling windows allow residents of Arkadia West Loop to soak in Chicago’s gorgeous skyline as its location near the Kennedy Expressway gives it unobstructed 360-degree views. Expect luxury living with a chef-inspired kitchen, which features white quartz countertops, two-toned cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. Residents can choose from 19 unique layouts and each includes wide plank flooring.
The amenities continue past each unit’s door as its 24,000-square-feet green roof deck comes with a pool and outdoor kitchen with a grill so residents can enjoy the city living outdoors.
Arkadia is in the heart of Greektown so it’s easy to grab some authentic Greek dishes at any of the nearby restaurants along Halsted Street before walking the short two blocks south to take in the art exhibits at the National Hellenic Museum.
7. 768 W. Jackson
Photo courtesy of 768 W. Jackson
For those who want a smaller space but still enjoy all the city has to offer, 768 W. Jackson offers only studio units in this former turn-of-the-century hotel. Now, the fully-renovated vintage building features hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to all its residents.
Just across the block is the National Hellenic Museum and having access to a secure bike room makes it easy to grab your bike and go straight east to the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s also within walking distance to the University of Illinois Campus and the Blue and Pink Lines, making it even more convenient to get around without a car.
6. The Chicagoan
Photo courtesy of The Chicagoan
The Chicagoan is steps away from both the Water Tower and the Magnificent Mile and is surrounded by some of the most stunning 360-views of the city. Junior one-bedroom, as well as one- and two-bedroom floorplans all include free password-protected WiFi throughout the entire building, as well as an updated fitness center and heated outdoor pool with a deck overlooking the city.
It’s easy to go car-free while living at The Chicagoan since residents enjoy free bike storage, as well as access to Zipcars and I-Go cars. For those with electric cars, the garage offers an electric car charging station.
Use your bike or walk to explore the art and design of the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, the 1883 Gilded Age mansion and a Chicago Landmark that was once home to a wealthy Chicago banker. Also within walking distance is the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hancock Building where you can enjoy dinner and drinks at The Signature Room on the 95th Floor while taking in the city views.
5. 180 W. Adams
Photo courtesy of 180 W. Adams
180 W. Adams is conveniently located to nearby attractions and transportation options, which is why it enjoys a walkability score of 99 and transit score of 100. The loft-style studio and one-bedroom units feature the traditional loft look with exposed brick, high ceilings and large windows. Residents can choose from furnished or unfurnished units, all of which come equipped with in-unit laundry, internet and DirecTV amenities.
The Lyric Opera House is just a few blocks away, as is Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). Several statues and sculptures grace the Loop, including Flamingo by Alexander Calder, located near the Chicago Post Office, a 39-foot-tall sculpture by Joan Miró on Washington Street and, of course, the Chicago Picasso (affectionately called “The Picasso” by locals), the sculpture by Pablo Picasso located in front of Daley Center.
4. Fisher Building City Apartments
Photo courtesy of Fisher Building City Apartments
The Fisher Building will impress architectural enthusiasts since it comes with Chicago Landmark status. At the time the building was completed in 1896, it was one of two buildings that was 18 stories or higher. Today, the neo-Gothic landmark building is home to residents living in studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments of the Fisher Building City Apartments.
Many features of the original building are being enjoyed today, including the mosaic and marble hallways and unique apartment doors that feature the original office name for that space. Past those doors are 10- to 12-foot ceilings, kitchens with a granite island, large closets and the trademark Daniel Burnham-style bay windows for which the famed architect is known.
The architectural gem is one block away from another architectural gem — the Harold Washington Library, which features many pieces of artwork inside. The Museum of Contemporary Photography is located within Columbia College Chicago, just a few blocks away while the Wabash Arts Corridor allows residents to enjoy several city blocks of large-scale works of public art by Columbia’s students.
3. Millennium Park Plaza
Photo courtesy of Millennium Park Plaza
Each studio, one-, two- or three-bedroom units in Millennium Park Plaza features hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances and its location can’t be beat. Steps from the Magnificent Mile, it’s also across the street from Millennium Park, which offers its own set of year-round entertainment options, including ice skating in the winter and free concerts and movies in the summer. A state-of-the-art fitness center with lap pool under a stunning dome, valet parking and a 24-hour doorman makes it feel like resort living.
Across Michigan Avenue is the newly-opened American Writers Museum while just across Millennium Park is The Art Institute.
2. Millennium on LaSalle
Photo courtesy of Millennium on LaSalle
One of Chicago’s most recently converted buildings — from a 13-story office building to a highly-amenitized property — Millennium on LaSalle blends modern finishes and conveniences while paying homage to the historic elements. Architecture buffs will appreciate that the building was originally built as the National Life Building and designed by Jenney & Mundie.
In addition to 214 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments featuring stone countertops, stainless appliances and smart home technology, the building now includes a new 14th-floor level featuring a pool, lounge, a sports court with fitness room, a dog run and landscaped roof deck. The basement offers more entertainment options with access to a theater room, a Wi-Fi and music lounge, a dog washroom, laundry/dry cleaning valet and secure private storage.
Being in the Loop’s Financial District, Millennium on LaSalle is conveniently only four blocks to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Lyric Opera House and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as a number of theater houses.
1. MDA City Apartments
Photo courtesy of MDA City Apartments
This LEED-certified building is both historic and modern and features panoramic views of the city. Just steps away from Michigan Avenue, residents enjoy contemporary kitchens and sexy bathrooms.
Residents can also escape from the hustle and bustle by retreating to the MDA City Apartments’ rooftop Sky Club and Sky Park or enjoying a film in the private movie theater. Choose from studios, convertibles, one- and two-bedroom apartments and penthouses and take advantage of the convenient on-site restaurant and market.
One block south is Randolph Street, where both The Cadillac Palace Theatre and The Joffrey Ballet call home. Nearby is the Chicago Cultural Center and the Design Museum of Chicago, both of which showcase free exhibitions year-round.
We looked at all apartments in Chicago and rated them on the number of art businesses within a half-mile radius. We used an exponentially decreasing scale based on distance from the apartment. For instance, art studios located across the street from a specific property would carry more weight than those a quarter-mile away. Our establishment counts come from commercially available business listings and may not reflect recent openings and closings.