Area code 312
North American Area code 312 is the area code for downtown Chicago, which includes the Chicago Loop and its immediate environs. It is completely surrounded by area code 773, which serves the rest of Chicago. 312 is an enclave area code, similar to area code 213 in Los Angeles and area code 210 in San Antonio. It is roughly bounded by North Avenue on the north, Ashland Avenue on the west, and 31st Street on the south, with Lake Michigan to the east. In terms of geographic area covered, 312 is one of the smallest area codes in the nation, encompassing only a few square miles.
Area code 312 was one of the original 86 area codes created in 1947, then called "Numbering Plan Areas". With the rotary dialing technology available at the time, care was given to keep the number of "clicks" to a minimum for large cities. For this reason, Chicago was assigned a code with only six clicks, tied with 213 for the second-fastest could be dialed under the original NANPA guidelines after the 212 area code assigned to New York City. (0 and 1 were not allowed as the first digit, the second digit was either 0 or 1, and the third digit could not be the same as the second digit.)
It originally served almost all of the Chicago metropolitan area, except for portions of McHenry County that were in 815, which served the rest of northern Illinois. On November 11, 1989, most of the Chicago suburbs were split off as area code 708, with 312 reduced to Chicago itself. 773 was assigned for the remainder of the city outside of the downtown area on October 11, 1996, making Chicago one of the few cities in the nation to be split between multiple area codes. Since November 7, 2009, both 312 and 773 have been overlaid by 872.
In popular culture
- Goose Island Brewery brews an ale named "312 Urban Wheat Ale".
- A restaurant at the Kimpton Hotels operated Hotel Allegro, at LaSalle and Randolph Streets in the Loop, is named "312 Chicago".
- When 312 covered the entire city, city residents would derisively call suburbanites "708ers" in reference to their area code.
- The Chicago-based Christian rock group Resurrection Band released a song called "Area 312" on their 1982 album D.M.Z.
- Portions of the film RoboCop 2 were filmed in the Chicago area. A telephone number written on an abandoned building is (312) 555-7890.
- The Snoop Dogg song "That's That", contains the lyrics: "Girl if you ever in the 312, holla at a playa".
- The music project Radio Flyer used (312) as a track title.
- The Kanye West song "New God Flow," contains the lyrics: "What has the world come to, I'm from the 312, where cops don't come through, and dreams don't come true."
- Telephone World
- "312 Urban Wheat". Goose Island Brewery. 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2009.
- "Dining-Hotel Allegro". Hotel Allegro. 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2009.
- Area 312 at AllMusic
- Map of Illinois area codes at North American Numbering Plan Administration's website
- List of exchanges from AreaCodeDownload.com, 312 Area Code
|Illinois area codes: 217, 224, 309, 312, 331, 618, 630, 708, 773, 779, 815, 847, 872|
|West: 773||area code 312 (overlaid by 872)||East: Lake Michigan|
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