Get to Know Your Ward: 42nd Ward

NBC Chicago and Ward Room bring you profiles on all 50 wards this election season. As candidates face off in the Feb. 24 election, they are also facing a new ward map, which takes effect when the winners assume office.

In this profile, learn all about the 42nd ward, which covers parts of the Loop, Streeterville, the Near North Side and Greektown.


  • Total Population: 55,870
  • White: 69.46 percent
  • Black: 5.57 percent
  • Hispanic: 5.79 percent
  • Asian: 18.10 percent (Source: WBEZ)

Current Alderman: Brendan Reilly

Ward Committeemen: Brendan Reilly (democratic committeeman) and Eloise Gerson (republican committeeman)

Who Else is Running: Reilly is running unopposed.

Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Lively, wealthy and growing

Economic Engine: Tourism. The 42nd ward contains many of Chicago's biggest tourist attractions, including Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park and the Art Institute.

Where People Eat: Restaurants include Tavern on Rush, Gibson's Bar and Steakhouse, Giordano's, Gyu-Kaku, Volare, Quartino Ristorante, Weber Grill, The Purple Pig, Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, Wildfire Chicago, Rainforest Cafe, Frontera Grill, Ed Debevic's, Reza's, Carnivale, Moe's Cantina River North, Chciago Cut Steakhouse, Rockit Bar and Grill, Stocks and Blondes and Lou Mitchells.

Where People Drink: Bars include Streeter's Tavern, Timothy O'Toole's Pub, Castle Chicago, Sound-Bar, SPybar, Citizen Bar, The Green Door Tavern, Billy Goat Tavern, Lizzie McNeill's and The Chicago Club.

Where People Pray: Churches and places of worship include Old St. Patrick's Church, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Holy Name Cathedral, St. James Cathedral, First United Methodist Church and St. Peter's Church.

How the Ward Typically Votes: Brendan Reilly was first elected alderman of the 42nd ward in 2007. Prior to his election, Burton Natarus had been alderman since 1971. In 2007, Reilly defeated Natarus, winning 54 percent of the vote. In 2011, Reilly ran unopposed. (NOTE: The 42nd ward was the only ward who favored Rauner over Quinn in the recent governor's election.)

Landmark: Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park and Navy Pier

Resident's Voice: Gail Spreen, president of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents and owner of Streeterville Properties, said the ward needs more greenery, trees, flowers and landscaping. She also said the area needs better connectivity to trains. There are several buses, she said, but it is difficult to get to any of the train lines.

Ward Expert: Karen Maisa, executive director of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents

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