The Pedway: Chicago’s Hidden Underground Network

chicago pedway

Photo by Aaron Volkening via Flickr

If you’re looking for a way to explore Chicago without braving the cold, wind or rain, you might want to check out the Pedway, a network of tunnels, concourses and bridges that connects more than 40 blocks in the downtown area. The Pedway offers a convenient and comfortable way to access many of the city’s attractions, such as the Art Institute, the Cultural Center, the Macy’s on State Street, and the Millennium Park. You can also find shops, restaurants and public art along the way.

Aaron Volkening via Flickr
John Greenfield via Flickr

Construction began in 1951 when the city built tunnels to connect subway stations. Since then, the Pedway has expanded to include more than 50 buildings, both public and private, as well as CTA stations and Metra rail facilities. The Pedway is divided into two main sections: the western section, which covers most of the Loop area, and the eastern section, which connects the Illinois Center buildings, hotels and the Aqua residential tower. The two sections are linked by the Metra Electric Line platforms at Millennium Station.

The Pedway is not only a practical way to get around the city, but also a cultural and historical attraction. Along the Pedway, you can see various artworks, such as murals, sculptures, mosaics, and stained glass windows. Some of these are permanent installations, while others are temporary exhibits curated by local organizations. You can also learn about the history and architecture of Chicago through informative signs and plaques that describe the buildings and landmarks you pass by.

To navigate the Pedway, you can use a map that shows the routes and entrances of the network. You can find a map online or download a mobile app that guides you through the Pedway with GPS. You can also join a guided tour that takes you to some of the highlights of the Pedway and tells you interesting stories and facts about Chicago.

The Pedway is one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets and a unique way to experience the city. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, you can discover something new and exciting in the Pedway. So grab your map or your phone and start exploring!

Written by Pete

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