Notes from the Underground: A Subterranean Safari in the Pedway

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[This piece also appears in Newcity magazine.]

As I make my way through the blizzard to the Blue Line’s Logan Square stop, seven pigeons are huddled on Evelyn Longman’s giant eagle sculpture atop the Illinois Centennial Monument. It’s a Thursday afternoon in early January, the streets are lined with slush and cars move at a cautious crawl. A scruffy, bearded guy in a hooded jacket trudges across the street toward me with wet snow blowing into his face. “No, it ain’t s—ty out,” he says with a grin. Me, I’m planning to take a pass on this nasty weather and spend the rest of the day in warmth and comfort as I go urban spelunking in the Chicago Pedway, an overlooked layer of Chicago’s transportation system.

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The Pedway is downtown’s network of indoor pedestrian pathways, including below-ground tunnels, street-level concourses and overhead skyways, covering about five miles, and connecting more than forty city blocks. Tens of thousands of downtown workers use it every day to traverse the Loop without having to deal with cold, heat, rain, snow or the Loop’s hectic, often dangerous, street traffic.

“If you know how to navigate it, it’s surprising how far you can travel underground,” says Tim Samuelson, the City of Chicago’s Cultural Historian. He often commutes between his office at the Chicago Cultural Center and City Hall via the Pedway. “I really like the efficiency of walking with no stoplights,” he says. He adds that the network seems to be at least as secure as walking above ground in terms of street crime, since most of the network is only open during hours when there are plenty of people using it, providing safety in numbers.

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Tunnel between the Daley Center and the Blue Line’s Washington station

According to Samuelson, the origins of the Pedway date back to 1897 when architect Louis Sullivan designed an ornamental bridge from the Loop El to the Schlesinger and Mayer department store, better known as the Carson, Pirie, Scott Building, at One South State Street. This early skyway featured a glass ceiling and beautiful decorative metalwork that incorporated electric lights. “It was quite controversial at the time, the whole idea of a sheltered, convenient way to access shopping from public transit,” Samuelson says.

Construction of the modern Pedway began in 1951, when the city built the block-long tunnels at Washington Boulevard and Jackson Street that connect the Red Line and Blue Line subways. Since then, various public and private projects have created links to more than fifty civic buildings, office towers, shops, hotels and rail stations. Sections of tunnel, concourse and skyway are generally managed and maintained by the adjacent property owners, says Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) planner Susan Mea, who has been involved with conducting pedestrian counts for the network and planning for future segments.

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Chicago Pedway map – my route is shown in gold

According to a 2008 CDOT report, during the course of a single business day 2,200 pedestrians used the tunnel beneath the Cultural Center, 2,800 used the tunnel between City Hall and the Daley Center, and 4,100 used the tunnel between the Daley Center and the Blue Line’s Washington stop. These numbers are probably much higher nowadays, since the counts were done while the Washington tunnel was closed for the construction of the Block 37 shopping center, severing the only connection between the network’s eastern and western halves. Mea says the Pedway will continue to expand, since new high-rises slated for the Lakeshore East development will include underground links.

But I’m not thinking about these stats as I arrive at the Blue Line’s Clark and Lake station. I’m just looking for a temporary escape from the harsh winter realities above me. Exiting the station, I’m in the lower-level food court of the drum-shaped James R. Thompson Center, nicknamed the Tom-Tom by the bike messengers who standby there between deliveries. I take off my puffy down jacket and stuff it in my own courier bag, where it will remain for the rest of my journey.

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I take an escalator past a lush wall of real foliage up to street level and gaze at the plaza, where Jean Dubuffet’s amorphous, black-and-white sculpture “Monument with Standing Beast” is getting frosted with snow. Returning to the basement I stand in the center of the circular floor and crane my neck to stare up at the dizzying checkerboard patterns of the glass roof, then grab a tasty chicken sandwich from M Burger, the food court’s sleek gourmet hamburger stand.

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Navigating with the city’s slightly outdated Pedway map, I head north past Pita Express, take a passage to 203 North LaSalle and ascend two floors to a series of skyways. As I stand in the glass-enclosed bridge over Clark Street, it’s a little unsettling to be suspended above speeding cabs and people darting across the road like ants. As one man looks up at me and waves, I’m reminded of the song “Skyway” by the Replacements, a band from Minneapolis. That city’s brutal winters make its eight-mile skyway network very useful indeed.

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Skyway over Chicago’s Clark Street, as seen from 203 N. Wacker

In the song, the protagonist waits for his bus on a busy street and looks up every morning to see the girl of his dreams commuting via the skyway. One day he summons the courage to go upstairs and talk to her, only to look down from the bridge and see her walking toward his bus stop. Singer Paul Westerberg laments, “There wasn’t a damn thing I could do or say, up in the skyway.”

I cross over to 200 North Dearborn and a food court that smells like grease, but Grill & More is a cheerful little eatery offering Korean dishes like bulgogi (barbecued beef), bibimbap (mixed rice) and jap chae (sweet potato noodles). They also offer several varieties of pho, the richly flavored Vietnamese noodle soup, which would have been just what the doctor ordered to soothe my head cold if I hadn’t already eaten. As I cross the next bridge, a homeless guy hanging out in the warm corridor hits me up for spare change.

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View from the Clark Street skyway

At 35 West Wacker, headquarters for the Leo Burnett ad firm, I descend to a shopping-mall-like concourse perfumed by a Starbucks. The walkway continues east to State and Lake, where house music and bhangra blare from Wow Bao, purveyors of “Hot Asian Buns.” Continuing north, the concourse ends at the blandly serene lobby of the Renaissance Hotel, where I peek out the front doors at the twin corncobs of Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina City, looking ghostly in the snowstorm.

After backtracking to the Thompson Center, I head south past the DMV down an ominously humming hallway to City Hall. Marriage Court is located in the basement and, judging from the no-nonsense sign, it looks like a very unromantic place to tie the knot. I climb some stairs to the gloomy Gothic corridors of the lobby, and then take an escalator down to the tunnel that leads to the Daley Center.

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Just as the CDOT ped counts indicated, the basement of this courthouse building is abuzz with smartly dressed people toting briefcases. Display cases hold paintings from Project Onward, an art program for people with mental and developmental disabilities. “Insects” by Princess Safiya Ameer Hameed is a colorful work featuring grinning bumblebees. It really brightens up this drab institutional space.

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I take a tunnel south to the Cook County Administration Building, site of a 2003 skyscraper fire that took the lives of six people. There are a number of old-fashioned shops in the basement, including Around the Clock Repair, which has a collection of vintage timepieces, like a seven-foot-high grandfather clock and a gaudy, gold-leafed table clock that would look right at home in Versailles.

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Continuing south past an old-school shoeshine station, I take some stairs up to the nine-story atrium of Three Chase Bank Plaza. I snap a picture of Henry Moore’s massive bronze sculpture “Large Upright Internal/External Form,” which vaguely resembles a mother and child. An old woman comes up to me and asks, “Did the security guards tell you? You’re only allowed to photograph the sculpture—no other parts of the lobby.”

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I head east via tunnels to One North Dearborn and One North State, the terminus of this leg of the Pedway, then backtrack to the county administration building. I notice that Angileri’s Barbershop has dozens of military medals on display in the window with a sign reading, “Attention all war vets, bring in your military patches and pins to be honorably displayed in appreciation for a job well done.” The shop is closed for the night but barber Rosario DiGati, seventy-nine, lets me in to chat. When I ask what the military display is about, he shows me formal portraits of three generations of Angileri men in uniform from World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War, the last being current owner John Angileri.

DiGati tells me he’s been working in barbershops for seventy-two years, ever since he was a boy in Rome, Italy. After he emigrated to marry an Italian-American woman, in 1961 he took a job at the grand barbershop of the Palmer House hotel, where he worked until it closed in 2006. He shows me black-and-white photos of the old shop. “You had to wear white shoes, a white shirt and a white jacket and there was an inspection once a week, like you were in the military.” During the early sixties stars like Jimmy Durante, Jack Benny and Liberace performed at the hotel, and in later years Governor George Ryan was a regular customer at the shop. “We took care of lawyers, politicians and gangsters but they all treated us nice,” he says.

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Rosario DiGati

It’s 5:30 and I need to head northwest again to work, so I catch the Blue Line from the Washington stop. I return to the station a few days later on the afternoon of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, when skies are gloomy but the temperature is a balmy forty-five degrees. Ready to complete my Pedway explorations, I walk east into the sparkling white basement of the new Block 37 mall. This is where Mayor Richard M. Daley tried to build a giant underground CTA station with express trains to both airports, which turned out to be a multimillion-dollar boondoggle.

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The corridor is lined with chain eateries, and I’m about to purchase a pastry from Beard Papa’s, a creampuff bakery founded in Osaka, Japan, when a woman handing out samples from Andy’s Frozen Custard offers me a free vanilla cone. I take several flights of escalators upstairs to browse the ultramodern shopping center, which is anchored by trendy retailers like Zara and Puma but has a depressing number of unoccupied storefronts. Riding the glass elevator back downstairs, I’m reminded of the scene from the 1983 teen sex farce “Class” where Jacqueline Bisset and Andrew McCarthy get steamy in the see-through lift at Water Tower Place.

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Back in the basement I buy a crab salad sub with house-made waffle chips at Which ‘Wich? The young employees ask me to settle a bet for them. “Were the Aztecs Indians or Mexicans?”

“Well, they were around before Mexico was a country,” I say. “They were native Mexicans, so I guess you could say they were both.”

“How about the Mayans?” they ask.

“They were from South America,” I tell them. “Er, actually the Mayans also lived in Mexico, and Central America. The Incas were from Peru. Say, don’t you guys have a smart phone to answer questions like this?”

“We don’t get reception down here,” they say.

Continuing east I enter the lower level of Macy’s, formerly Marshall Field’s, and pass through the luggage and kitchenware sections to a soundtrack of classic jazz. There’s a section of the store dedicated to the scrumptious Frango chocolate truffles, which unfortunately are no longer made on the building’s thirteenth floor. Back in the Pedway, below 55 East Randolph, I peer through a wall of windows at L.A. Fitness’ classy-looking swimming pool, surrounded by potted palms, where members are swimming laps. I think about how nice it would feel to be submerged in warm water on this dismal day.

Underneath the Chicago Cultural Center, young activists canvass for marriage equality, just down the corridor from a fifty-something busker strumming The Moody Blues song “Nights in White Satin.” “We want to end discrimination and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act,” says Brittany Thurman. “We’ve been having a little spat with the street performer—he’s been yelling at us to leave,” says Bryan Dichter, speaking with an English lilt. When I ask if he’s from another country, he reverts to his native Chicago accent and admits that he grew up here but his mom’s from Mexico and his dad’s from Israel. “You gotta make your own fun down here,” he explains.

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Rather than being a raging homophobe, guitarist Bill Opelka seems like a reasonable chap. “I’ve been playing down here for three years,” he says. “They call me the Pedway Musician.” Specializing in folk and classic rock, he says he appreciates the tunnel’s excellent acoustics and always has a large audience during heat waves and thunderstorms. “When the weather’s bad the money’s good, and vice versa.”

There’s a blast of chilly air as I walk past a staircase leading down to Millennium Station from the sidewalk. This futuristic Metra and South Shore Line train station, located below the eponymous park, has an undulating translucent ceiling and a glass-walled arcade of shops and restaurants. I’m sad to see that the transit-friendly tavern Bar Millennium, which used to sell tallboys to-go for rail commuters, has gone out of business, but the delicious aroma from Kernel Fabyan’s popcorn stand penetrates my stuffed-up schnozz.

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I head north from the station, take an escalator up to One Prudential Plaza and pass by Tavern at the Park and Wildberry Pancakes. In the lobby of Two Prudential, a skyscraper that resembles a giant mechanical pencil, chubby Boy Scouts ask me to buy caramel corn to support their troop. With Kernel Fabyan’s still in my nostrils, I buy an $8 bag from their mothers at a folding table but resist the urge to ask if the organization still discriminates against gay people.

Taking the Pedway east I’m in the lower level of the Aon Center, the soaring white monolith that’s Chicago’s third tallest building. Continuing north takes me to the Fairmont Hotel, which offers guests free use of BMW bicycles. The sign at Oenology, a slick lobby bar, promises “Wine, cheese, chocolate and sensation.”

Heading east, I’m beneath Aqua, the new residential tower whose wavy exterior, formed by irregularly shaped concrete balconies, resembles rippling water. At 870 feet, it’s the tallest building in the world designed by a female-led architecture firm, Studio Gang. I exit an eastern door onto an outside terrace for a nice view down at Lakeshore East Park, a charming new green space sunk two levels below Upper Randolph Drive and currently dusted with snow.

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Back in the Pedway, I walk north into the lower level of the Swissotel Chicago, a skyscraper with an unusual triangular footprint. As I continue west into 303 East Wacker and Columbus Plaza, the scent of curry leads me to Khyber Pass, an Indian restaurant whose entrance is flanked by ornate, seven-foot-tall brass teapots. Down the hall, Spa Di La Fronza’s decorated with photos of Sinatra, Bennett and Mantegna, a mural of ancient Roman men frolicking in a bathhouse and a plaster bust of Michelangelo’s David wearing a Santa cap.

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The next tunnel takes me to the Hyatt Regency Chicago, so I head upstairs to the spacious atrium to rest my tired feet. I stretch out on a sleek modernist couch beneath full-sized live trees and beside a huge green lagoon with seven parabola-shaped fountains. The sound system plays that slick brand of hotel-lobby acid jazz, dangerously close to smooth jazz, that’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Like the Garfield Park Conservatory or the Harold Washington Library’s ninth floor winter garden, this place is a wonderful respite from the cold-weather blahs. The rushing water, soothing music and soft lighting encourage the production of oxytocin, the relaxation chemical that is also released in the brain during breastfeeding, hugs and sex.

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Dragging myself out of my reverie and off of the couch, I continue west to One Illinois Center. I’m tempted to stop for a whiskey at Houlihan’s, an old-school tavern featuring life-sized carvings of an Indian chief and a sea captain, plus huge tanks of tropical fish. Instead, I keep marching south through the street-level concourse, lined with a multitude of lunch spots, florists, barbershops, shoe-repair places and even a counter where you can get keys made.

Tired of the walking and the endless stream of commerce, I pause on a skyway over South Water Street and stare through the glass at Michigan Avenue, feeling vaguely depressed. It’s dark and rainy now and rush hour has started. Streetlights reflect red and gold off the wet pavement as commuters scurry across the street and double-length CTA buses zoom by. I think to myself, is it unhealthy and alienating to travel for miles through the city without experiencing the weather or interacting with the hustle-bustle of Chicago’s ever-changing streets? Is traveling by Pedway a fundamentally anti-urban, antisocial form of transportation?

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Across the street I notice the Carbide & Carbon Building, a 1929 Art Deco tower designed by the sons of legendary architect Daniel Burnham, now housing the Hard Rock Hotel. The structure is clad in polished black granite and dark green terra cotta, and its narrow pinnacle is ornamented with gold leaf. Legend has it the Burnham brothers took inspiration for the design from a champagne bottle topped with gold foil. Gazing at this quirky masterpiece, I cheer up a little.

Continuing south into Boulevard Towers, I descend three levels and find myself on the platform of Metra’s South Water Station. There’s a cacophony of overlapping prerecorded female voices on the PA system, calling out “Track number five, track number three” in rapid succession. It’s supposed to guide people with visual impairments, but it just makes me feel disoriented. I climb a ramp back to Millennium Station then, having traversed almost the entire Pedway network, backtrack toward the Blue Line to catch my ride home. When I pass through the Cultural Center again, I wave hello to Opelka, still strumming, but he doesn’t seem to recognize me.

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Back in the basement of Macy’s, I duck into Infield’s, a sports bar whose name is a holdover from the store’s previous incarnation, for a Maker’s Mark to soothe my sore throat and weary soul. A wall at the entrance to the pub is lined with hundreds of baseballs, and as I belly up to the bar, a window onto the Pedway lets me spy on commuters rushing to their trains. I strike up a conversation with Sidney Austin, a middle-aged regular who’s relaxing with a Heineken before catching Metra home to the south suburbs.

Austin tells me he likes being able to walk from the train to his office and his tavern without ever having to venture outdoors, and he enjoys drinking at this cozy subterranean rendezvous. “It’s sort of hidden, it’s not a very loud crowd, and every now and then you see a couple of pretty ladies like those ones over there,” he says, indicating the two young women at the end of the bar. They smile back at us.

Hmm… maybe the Pedway isn’t so antisocial after all.

Steven’s note: Contributor Anne Alt uploaded photos to demonstrate accessibility issues in the pedway

Published by

John Greenfield

John has lived in Chicago since 1989 and has worked a number of bicycle jobs, from messenger to mechanic to managing the Chicago Department of Transportation's bicycle parking program, arranging the installation of over 3,700 bike racks. He writes regularly for Time Out Chicago, Newcity, Momentum and Urban Velo magazines and works at Boulevard Bikes in Logan Square.

17 thoughts on “Notes from the Underground: A Subterranean Safari in the Pedway”

  1. When walking through the South Water Station platforms, it always feels a bit like trespassing (in the most non-criminal way the term can be defined). That area could use a bit more signage.

    As it common with pedestrian networks (Minneapolis is certainly no exception), the area could use more signage in spots. They’re easier for regulars to navigate than they are for out-of-towners like myself.

      1. I went back and took a look today at portions of the pedway.  If you come down in the elevator from the Cultural Center, there is no signage in sight offering any direction, just information on the Cultural Center.

        At Randolph/Millennium Park station, the signage is designed to be sleek and blend in with the station decor – to the point where needed info gets lost.  One sign referencing Prudential points in the wrong direction.  One is placed out of line of sight – behind a post.

        Prudential and Aon each have VERY few signs of any kind referring to the pedway, and most of those are also designed to blend in with the decor, which makes them a lot less visible.  It was a very vivid reminder of why I had so much trouble learning my way from the Metra station over to Aon.

        Otherwise, today’s look around confirmed what I thought I remembered – that signage within the pedway from Wabash over to City Hall is fairly good and well placed.  If you’re trying to find pedway entrances from the street and you don’t already know where to go, good luck finding most of them.

        I’ll post some photos on Flickr later.

    1.  CDOT did improve Pedway signage a couple of years ago. There are a fair number of signs and maps, so if you’ve got a good working knowledge of the above-ground Loop (I was a bike messenger for years) it’s pretty easy to find your way around the Pedway.

      1. It’d be cool to have the Pedway map integrated into Google Maps or Mapquest so directions could be calculated that optimize using the Pedway for a one’s route (to keep warm in the cold, or keep dry in the rain). 

  2. About a year and a half ago, I had a long-term temp assignment that made the pedway useful to me.  My commute from hell took me from the Rock Island Metra to the brown line to Randolph & Wabash over to the Aon Center.  Aon and Prudential offer a shuttle bus to the Metra stations, but the route favors Ogilvie and Union Stations.  Taking it to LaSalle St. station would have added 1/2 hour to my commute, and CTA buses did not offer a satisfactory, reliable alternative, so I used the El and the pedway.

    I think the new-ish pedway signage is okay, but placement of signs could be better.  With all the turns and doorways, having only one sign at a turn or intersection isn’t enough.  There were just enough locations where signs were visible when approaching from one direction, but invisible from the other direction, or where you’d naturally see them if you were using the stairs but miss them if you were using the nearby ramp.  In rush hour crowds, having to fight your way across a corridor packed
    with people moving in both directions to read a sign just doesn’t work.

    At the time, I was having major knee problems and walking with a cane.  On most days, I didn’t want to take any extra steps, because I needed all my energy just to get through the workday and get home.  I wish that walking the whole distance from LaSalle to Aon would have been an option.  Even better – a bike share location at LaSalle and one at the Millennium Park bike station would have allowed me to ride almost door to door from my train to the office – the least stressful option physically and probably significantly faster.

    The location I hated most was the transition from Millennium Park station to the Prudential building.  It’s straightforward enough when coming from Prudential (although the lack of a down escalator or elevator was just plain evil to my beat-up knee).  Until I got detailed directions from someone, I found it impossible to pick out the passage from the other direction, going from the Metra station to Prudential.  Any signage there seems to be aimed at people coming from the trains, and doesn’t do anything for folks coming from the west – or at least that was the case at that time.  Being stressed out and in pain didn’t help.

    The experience was a wash for me.  It allowed me to stay out of messy weather – much appreciated.  It also let me bypass the idiotic anti-pedestrian intersection of Michigan & Randolph – my biggest reason for using the pedway.  Every time I pass that intersection, I wonder why no entrance/exit was created to allow people to go directly from the pedway to the NW corner of Millennium Park, which would allow a lot more pedestrians to avoid that stupid intersection.

    There are so many changes of level and doorways that’s it’s difficult for anyone with a significant walking disability.  Locations with revolving doors generally have regular doors next to them, but wind and differences in air pressure sometimes make it difficult for someone who is using crutches or isn’t very strong.  They don’t all have the push button assist mechanisms. 

    Unfortunately, I’ve had more experience than I’d like with various aspects of handicap accessibility in various places around the city.  We’ve made a lot of progress since the early 1980s, when I had my first experience on crutches due to a knee injury.   Simple changes like better sign placement could improve complex locations like the pedway.

    1. While I was doing that commute, I had a co-worker with an identical commute who also had a walking disability.  We each experimented with many different transit/ route combinations and found there was no better combination that didn’t involve significantly longer travel time or greater expense.  I wanted a real bike share program every day I was on that job.

    2. What is the accessibility of the Pedway? How many entrances have elevators?

      About the Prudential location, and this is the cynical side of me: I wonder if the developer was disagreeable to installing more infrastructure than they legally had to, even if the additional infrastructure would make it more usable. 

      1. Accessibility IS an issue in the pedway, despite many places that have ramps or elevators.  I had forgotten about this aspect, but when we used to navigate the pedway with a stroller, there were several difficult areas to navigate.  For ex. the spur that travels from the NW corner down to the Metra station at Millenium has numerous places with stairs only (including the Prudential).

        Re. whether or not the Prudential was antithetical to the installation of accommocations, I would say no.  Some of the best accommodations are in this building (escalators and some elevators).   The poorest accessibility seems to be in the No-Man’s-Land between building (ie. between the Prudential and the Aon).

      2. I’ve wondered if part of the problem was developers in various locations not wanting to put in anything above the legal requirement.  I don’t know the answer.  When I was first learning to navigate the Pedway, i used a paper map, but the level of detail wasn’t that good – not good enough to solve the mystery of the connection to Prudential.

        About that connection between Prudential and Aon, that has to be one of the world’s SLOWEST elevators.

        The relatively new pedway entrance on Randolph just east of Wabash does have an elevator.  That’s one of the nicer pedway sections.  I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head how many entrances have elevators.

        I’ll be in that area tomorrow and I may take a few pictures.

    3. Signage is an issue.  Yes, the city has improved it a great deal in the past 2 years, but it still has a long way to go!

      Posting maps would be a big help.  The complexity of the system seems far more organic than any other thing I’ve ever seemed mapped (outside of caves).  Multiple levels, frequent direction changes, and lack of outside visual cues make it *very* easy to get lost in the Pedway.  Like the poster above, I have frequently found my way through in one direction with no trouble, but have been challenged when trying to navigate the opposite direction.  I’m a map junkie with a good sense of direction and wayfinding skills, but the Pedway has whipped my *ass on more than one occasion!  Adding insult to injury, the turnover in shops and restaurants makes the process a perpetual learning curve.

  3. Okay, now that you’ve walked it John, you need to do a restaurant guide to the Pedway!

    Three of my favorite fast food joints in the city happen to be in the pedway:
    -Tokyo Lunchbox for cheap and easy Japanese food, fast. The noodle bowls are excellent and the sushi is freshly prepared. I prefer the TL near the Hyatt over the one at the IL Center, fwiw.
    -Au Bon Pain for the wonderful soups and bread (plus the 50% off baked goods after 5 pm discount is the bomb!) (in the Aon building)
    -Caffé RoM for traditional Italian espresso, great hot chocolate and gelato, in a small, trendy setting. (Prudential Bldg)

    And the best coffee in N. America can be purchased at the Intelligentsia down in the pedway over by the Cultural Center (only open before noon).  After noon you need to brave the elements by hitting the full time shop on Randolph, just above.

    1. I think I mentioned most of the non-chain places I like in the Pedway. Several of the food courts have some interesting options. In the Thompson Center’s “Great State Fare” food court, besides M burger and Pita Express, there’s a New Orleans-style place that’s kind of interesting, though not very authentic. At the food court at 200 N. Dearborn, downstairs from Grill & More (Korean and pho), there was a Japanese place that looked promising. In the basement of Block 37, I definitely recommend hitting up Beard Papa for Franco-Japanese cream puffs, and there’s also a Thai/sushi place that’s supposed to be good. Macy’s has a decent basement food court with a counter of comfort food items (meatloaf, mac and cheese, roast chicken, etc.) that might be nice of a winter’s day. And Khyber Pass’ lunch buffet in the basement of Columbus Plaza definitely smells appealing.

  4. Go here to view my photos from yesterday.  I apologize for the image quality.  These were taken with my little point and shoot – not nearly the quality I would have gotten with my good camera (which is dying), but they generally get the point across.  They’re linked to a map to show exact locations.  I hope it works for you.  This is my first attempt at using the map function in Flickr.

    Revisiting the pedway yesterday, seeing locations lacking in signage or with poorly placed signage, reinforced the opinion I’ve had for a while – that managers of most buildings along the pedway do NOT want to advertise pedway access to the average person on the street.  Much of it is reasonable to navigate once you’ve found your way in.  Finding that access without prior knowledge or a guide is another matter entirely.

    Block 37 and 25 E. Washington were the 2 notable exceptions, openly advertising their lower level arcades as being on the pedway.

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