The Loop is the central business district and downtown area of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is one of the city’s 77 designated community areas. The Loop is home to Chicago’s commercial core, City Hall, and the seat of Cook County. In the late nineteenth century, cable car turnarounds and prominent elevated railway encircled the area, giving the Loop its name. The Loop is currently the second largest commercial business district in the United States after New York City’s Midtown.
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It is believed the origin of the term Loop is derived from the cable car turning loops in the downtown area, and especially those of two lines that shared a loop, constructed in 1882, bounded by Van Buren, Wabash, Wells, and Lake. Other research has concluded that “the Loop” was not used as a proper noun until after the 1895–97 construction of the Union elevated railway loop.