6 Unique Places to Work in Chicago

July 9, 2015

2:00 pm

Chicago is certainly not short on coworking spaces, but sometimes you need a place to work that’s a bit different. A way to change up your routine, see things from a new perspective, and get a fresh infusion of energy.

This celebration of the Chicago ecosystem is brought to you by @properties, the leading Chicago real estate brokerage serving both the city of Chicago and North Shore through dynamic marketing and innovation. Read more here.

We asked Chicago entrepreneurs what their favorite (and not-so-traditional) places to work are, and they didn’t disappoint. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking views, elegant luxury, or a blood-pumping way to spend your break time, this list has got you covered.

1. The Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago - places to work Art Institute

Work in the cafe, or in the beautiful South Garden

Address: 111 South Michigan Avenue (closest CTA stop: Adams/Wabash)

Why work there: “Easily one of the most beautiful spaces in the city. You can check emails and work remotely sitting in a garden designed with fountains and artistically maintained trees that filter sunlight through, creating an oasis on a bustling part of Michigan Avenue. Closest thing to a secret garden that I’ve ever experienced in my life,” says Asif Khan, CEO of Caremerge.

2. Brooklyn Boulders

Chicago - places to work Brooklyn Boulders

Work at The Beta, a workspace in the midst of a rock climbing facility

Address: 100 South Morgan Street (closest CTA stop: Morgan Lake/UIC-Halsted)

Why work there: “It’s weirdly awesome. The only drawback I can think of is that you might want to climb or do yoga all day, but I’ve been told that the space is mellow, bright, and conducive to work,” says Khan.

3. The Shedd Aquarium

Chicago - places to work Shedd

Work at the aquarium’s lakefront terrace, with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan

Address: 1200 South Lake Shore Drive (closest CTA stop: Roosevelt)

Why work there: Breathtaking,” says Jayna Cooke, CEO of EVENTup.

4. Millennium Park

Chicago - places to work Millennium

Work in this nearly 25-acre park, featuring green gardens and lots of public art

Address: 201 East Randolph Street (close to many CTA stops)

Why work there: “Being outside with changing scenery seems to get my creative juices flowing and the free wifi keeps me connected when I want to be. When the weather is nice, I like to find a shady bench and catch up on reading,” says Jason Siffring, owner of Surprise Highway.

5. Soho House

Chicago - places to work Soho House

Work by the pool on the roof of this swanky members’ club

Address: 113-125 North Green Street (closest CTA stop: Morgan Lake)

Why work there: There is a ton of sun, a great breeze, a fun crowd, but plenty of people working on their laptops accomplishing a ton. This space is the perfect blend of hard work and a great experience. Food and drink are amazing perks, too,” says Chris Rentner, founder and CEO of Akouba Credit.

6. JW Marriott

Chicago - places to work Marriott

Work in the lobby, even if you don’t spend the night there

Address: 151 West Adams Street (closest CTA stop: Quincy/Wells)

Why work there: “Unlike Starbucks, there are plenty of outlets, perfect wifi, and no loud music overhead. It’s just a quiet, comfortable, and civilized place to get work done (even if the coffee is six bucks with a tip),” says Josh Inglis, owner of Propllr PR.

Is there a unique place in Chicago that you like to cowork from that was left off our list? If so, please share it with us in the comments section below.

Image credits: Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Boulders, Meetup (Shedd Aquarium), Headsillroll / Wikimedia Foundation (Millennium Park), SOHO House, JW Marriott.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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