Today’s exploration of the Pedway involved a little bit of retracing my steps, but rather than return to the depressing North Grant Park Garage I started at Chicago’s Cultural Center. I had to resist the temptation to dawdle in the galleries, as I walked towards the north of the building where a largely hidden elevator descends to the Pedway that runs east-west along Randolph street.
The décor here is pretty much anonymous, but gets very busy as you approach Millennium Station to the east.
The floor has a train track motif, which induces a desire to hurry up and get out of the way. So I did. A plethora of fast food vendors ply their trade behind glass walls to the south of the concourse.
I choose north, and exited to above ground at Prudential Plaza (passing goat/numerically inspired sculptures) and crossed Lake Street to re-enter the Pedway at the Boulevard Towers complex.
Food was hastily consumed at Mezza, and then I continued north and east below the Illinois Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel, then ascended to street level. The aim here was to explore the disconnected length of Pedway that connects the area where the BlueCross Blue Shield Tower sits and Grant Park.
Here it gets a little trippy – the entrance is in a spacious skyscraper lobby, with an elevator down to the Pedway. Beneath everything seems normal until you cross Randolph Street through a glass and steel tunnel supported by luminescent yellow girders. The south exit onto Grant Park is pretty close to the BP Pedestrian Bridge that snakes its way across South Columbus Drive and into Millennium Park.
It was as hot as Hell outside, but the walk through the park and across the Nichols Bridgeway to the Art Institute was pleasant. The occasional oasis of air-conditioned buildings keeping me from melting into a sweaty mess.