Monday, November 21, 2016

The Pedway, Chicago’s Loop Underground Pedestrian System.

The Chicago Pedway is a network of tunnels, ground-level concourses, and bridges connecting skyscrapers, retail stores, hotels and train stations throughout the central business district of Chicago, Illinois. With a length of more than 40 downtown blocks, it contains shops, restaurants, and public art and helps pedestrians in inclement weather. Most connections to the pedway are commercial or government buildings, including hotels. Columbus Plaza, The Heritage at Millennium Park, the Park Millennium, 200 North Dearborn Apartments, and Aqua are the only residential buildings connected to the pedway.

The oldest portions of the Pedway, aside from the interiors of some included buildings, are the corridors between State and Dearborn Streets, linking Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line and Blue Line stations at Washington and Lake Streets and at Jackson Street. These were constructed with the subways; while the completion and outfitting of the Blue Line under Dearborn Street were interrupted by rationing in World War II, the two mezzanine connector tunnels were opened and linked the Red Line under State Street to the sidewalks of Dearborn Street.
Construction on the pedway proper began in 1951 and has continued since then, especially after the expansion was included in both 1968's Transit Planning Study: Chicago Central Area and the Chicago 21 Plan introduced in 1973.
The smaller but more elaborate eastern section of the pedway connecting the Illinois Center buildings, Hyatt Regency, Fairmont Hotel, Swissôtel and (later) Aqua, was not directly accessible from the main (Loop-centric) pedway network, although each linked to one end of the Metra Electric Line rail platforms, controlled by turnstiles and inaccessible without paying the fare. Since the Regional Transportation Authority's removal of the turnstiles in November 2003, the two large pedway sections have been united by the platforms.
Entrance from the North-South (Red Line) subway to the Pedway and Marshall Field's.
The southern reach of the main network was reduced when the 2nd-floor passage across Madison Street, linking Three First National Plaza with Bank One Plaza (now Chase Tower), was removed after the two buildings restricted public access to upper levels. 

The tunnels between Chase Tower and Two First National Plaza remain but are closed to the general public. Chase Tower is still connected to the Blue Line subway and to the restaurant structure in the south-west corner of the adjoining Exelon Plaza, and public access is permitted during workday hours.

Numerous smaller pedways throughout the central business district are not connected to the main network. These include the tunnel below Quincy Street and the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, connecting the Red and Blue Lines' Jackson Street stations; within and between the Ogilvie Transportation Center and 2 North Riverside Plaza; within and between the Merchandise Mart and Apparel Center; and the passageways under Chase Tower's Exelon Plaza.

Points of entry and exit for the Pedway include:
  1. One North Dearborn Street
  2. One North State Street
  3. 2 North Riverside Plaza
  4. One Prudential Plaza (130 East Randolph Street)
  5. Two First National Plaza
  6. Two Prudential Plaza (180 North Stetson Avenue)
  7. Three First National Plaza (70 West Madison Street)
  8. 25 East Washington Street
  9. 77 West Wacker Drive
  10. 120 North LaSalle
  11. 139 North Wabash Avenue
  12. 150 North Michigan Avenue
  13. 200 North Dearborn Apartments
  14. 201 North Clark Street
  15. 203 North LaSalle Street
  16. 303 East Wacker Drive
  17. Aon Center (200 East Randolph Street)
  18. Aqua
  19. Block 37 shopping mall at 108 North State Street
  20. Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower (300 East Randolph Street)
  21. Boulevard Towers
  22. Chase Tower
  23. City Hall/County Building
  24. Chicago Cultural Center (formerly main library & GAR memorial)
  25. Chicago Title and Trust Center (181 North Clark Street)
  26. Columbus Plaza
  27. Richard J. Daley Bicentennial Plaza
  28. Richard J. Daley Center (50 West Washington Street)
  29. Front of Dirksen Federal Building (interior not connected) (219 South Dearborn St.)
  30. George W. Dunne Cook County Administration Building (69 West Washington Street)
  31. Fairmont Hotel Chicago
  32. Grant Park underground parking garages
  33. The Heritage at Millennium Park (130 North Garland Court)
  34. Hyatt Regency Hotel
  35. Illinois Center
  36. Lake CTA Red Line station
  37. Leo Burnett Building (35 West Wacker Drive)
  38. Macy's in the Marshall Field and Company Building
  39. Millennium Park
  40. Ogilvie Transportation Center (500 West Madison Street)
  41. Millennium Station (formerly Randolph Street Terminal)
  42. Park Millennium
  43. Jay Pritzker Pavilion
  44. Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel (formerly Stouffer Riviere)
  45. The Sporting Club at Illinois Center
  46. Swissôtel Chicago
  47. James R. Thompson Center (100 West Randolph)
  48. Washington CTA Blue Line Station 
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D. 


  1. Thanks for this wonderful article on the Chicago Pedway System. Are there any plans announced to eventually connect the section surrounding the Prudential and Blue Cross segments with the rest of the system?


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