Yoga River North Chicago is currently one of the most lively spots in the city. The neighborhood hasn’t always looked the same, though. In fact, the neighborhood we all love only got this name a few decades ago. What we know as River North was once called Smokey Hollow, and it held that name for good reason. Built about 180 years ago, the area was once filled with smog from factories, hard to imagine when we consider River North is now considered one of the best locations to live in Chicago.

Here, we take a closer look at the history of River North, Chicago, and reflect on how the district differs now from a few decades back. In doing that, we also uncover the reason people are now drawn to River North, and what makes it so special today.
Smokey Hollow

Not too many people, even those living in the district, know its full history. As we mentioned, River North was not always known by this name, and it was called Smokey Hollow at first. While Chicago was officially incorporated as a city within the US in the year 1837, Smokey Hollow first became a district about 180 years ago.

In 1871, the Chicago Fire broke out, and the Smokey Hollow area had to be completely rebuilt. Instead of being filled with residential properties, this district quickly became an industrial area within Chicago. At the time, the majority of buildings that were built in the district were shipping facilities, factories, railroad tracks, warehouses, and municipal buildings. Some houses were also built in the district, but these were mainly for the workers employed at the facilities in the area. The smoke produced by all of the factories in the area is what led to the name “Smokey Hollow.”

Smokey Hollow did not maintain its status as a busy location for industrial organizations for too long. The port was eventually moved, and this caused businesses in the region to close one after the other. By the year 1920, Smokey Hollow area was deserted. This period lasted up until 1960.

A Change Of Name – River North

By the 1970s, people noted that the prices of real estate in the Smokey Hollow region were exceptionally low. At the same time, there were large spaces in the area that were considered perfect for a variety of purposes. The majority of people who entered the district at this time were creative individuals, artists included.

As people noted that the location provided a perfect opportunity to obtain real estate on the cheap, the district quickly became filled with offices, studios, art galleries, shops, restaurants, and several apartment complexes.

Albert Friedman, a real estate developer in Chicago, decided to take it upon himself to revive Smokey Hollow. As a part of the revival of the district, a name change was introduced by Albert. He officially changed the name from Smokey Hollow to River North in the 1970s.
Since acquiring its new name, River North has become one of the most popular destinations for travelers and locals alike. Today’s River North has so much to offer to virtually anyone. Even though artists were the first to move in after the deserted period, the neighborhood went through, and the cultural diversity is quite significant today.

River North is alive around the clock. It is rich with daytime activities, and the nightlife is among the best in Chicago. Whether you’re after a good wine bar, if you want to sip on a craft cocktail in a VIP lounge, or if you’re looking to experience a fun night at a sleek nightclub, River North offers you all this and more.

Being the busy hub it is for the trendsetters of Chicago, and River North enjoys some of the best fitness destinations in the city, where Chicagoans can keep their bodies, minds, and souls in great shape. This came as a natural result to meet the demands of the neighborhood’s residents and visitors. You can now find a wide variety of gyms, fitness centers, and most recently, yoga studios such as YOGA 2.0.

YOGA 2.0, a yoga studio that opened its first office just East of the River North area. The company recently decided to expand by opening a new studio in River North, giving the neighborhood yogis an excellent opportunity to experience the practice in its most authentic way and advance their practice, and also allowing beginners to take their first steps into the world of yoga correctly and with adequate supervision.

Chicago has many popular destinations for people to live, shop, dine out, and get active. What was once a factory-filled district known as Smokey Hollow, has now become one of the most in-demand locations in the state. The River North district offers a mixture of rich history and stylish vibes. The neighborhood is still home to many artists and individuals who hold true to the authenticity of River North, yet it combines this with an urban chic touch that draws visitors and residents in and makes it an ideal destination for many.

Future Readings:

7 Things to Do in River North, Chicago