Northwestern’s Chicago campus is located in the heart of Chicago, occupying four blocks between Lake Michigan and the city’s famous “Magnificent Mile.” That stretch of Michigan Avenue runs from the Chicago River to Oak Street Beach and includes some of the trendiest shops, restaurants, and hotels in the city. Just two blocks from campus is the 19th century limestone Water Tower—one of the few structures in the path of the 1871 Chicago fire that survived.
Entertainment is abundant in Chicago. In the immediate neighborhood of the medical campus are art and photography galleries, several movie theaters, myriad specialty and department stores, and an array of fine museums. Of the latter, the Museum of Contemporary Art is especially accessible to residents, with no more than three blocks separating the museum from any location on campus.
The lakefront, with its beaches, fine views, and a recreational path for walkers, joggers, bikers, and in-line skaters, is only a few minute’s walk from campus. The lakefront path extends all the way to Hollywood Beach, one of many beaches where you will find hundreds of people basking in the sun or playing volleyball on the sand. Many enthusiasts utilize the lakefront throughout the day, whether for an early morning jog or a late night bike ride. Believe it or not, there is even a free 9-hole golf course near Montrose Harbor.
A 30–40 minute walk south of campus reveals such landmarks as the Art Institute of Chicago, Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium and Oceanarium. Walking a similar distance north leads to Lincoln Park’s jogging path, golf course, tennis courts, and zoo, as well as the Chicago Historical Society and Chicago Academy of Sciences. And don’t miss the city’s new Millennium Park located on South Michigan Avenue. There, you’ll find the outdoor Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Auditorium, beautiful and plentiful gardens, one of the largest stainless steel structures you’ll ever see aptly named “Cloud Gate”, ice skating during the winter, and towering glass structures that spout water upon hot, tired guests below. In the summer time, make sure you catch a free concert of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing at the Pritzker Auditorium. Bring your blanket, some nice food and libations, and sprall out on the greenest grass you’ll ever see, yet another way to experience Chicago at its finest!
Chicago offers a rich blend of cultural performances, ethnic neighborhoods and restaurants, festivals, sporting events, and architectural masterpieces. From the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera to the House of Blues and numerous jazz clubs, music is a major part of the Chicago scene. Theater is also abundant in Chicago, with more than 120 professional and community theaters, including Steppenwolf and The Goodman. In fact, Hairspray, The Producers, and the Holy Grail all had their starting run in Chicago… Chicago also is home to two professional baseball teams and professional football, basketball, and hockey teams.
The architecture that has shaped the entire country began in Chicago, where the skyscraper was developed more than 100 years ago. The world-renowned designs of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie School and the modern steel and glass skyscrapers epitomized by the John Hancock building (four blocks from campus) and Sears Tower characterize this great Midwestern city. Two other iconic buildings- The Wrigley Building and Tribune Towers- overlook the Chicago River, which is dyed green for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Chicago is a city of vibrant neighborhoods, and psychiatry residents can afford to live in any of them! You can choose to live right in Streeterville, within a block or two of the hospital, or in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, the South Loop, Andersonville…all with easy, affordable public transportation. You do not need a car to live in Chicago and train at Northwestern.