Today’s exploration of the Pedway began at 25 East Washington. A monolithic sign on the street indicates that the Pedway, retails shops, ATS Institute of Technology and more can be found be simply walking through the doors….
A staircase and escalators immediately inside the building take you down to some decidedly unglamorous stores, offices, and mysterious rooms behind closed blinds. The Pedway heads north at this point through the basement floor of Macy’s (Barbara’s Bookstore, food courts, and InField Bar) and then joins the east-west stretch of the Pedway that parallels Randolph Street.
Although I could not find a more recent map of the Pedway than the 2008 edition on the City of Chicago’s website, more up-to-date editions certainly exist – there is one on the walls here (which helpfully even points out where you are.
I walked east at this point. The Pedway tunnel here is low and wide. Not particular pretty to look at, and bare of all adornment. I am surprised that the City of Chicago does not attempt to charge for advertising along the walls. Parts of London’s Underground are similarly down at heel, but they are festooned with movie posters and adverts.
The Pedway erupts into life a little further along where the Red Line (El) intersects at the Washington Station.
Things get a little more upscale as the Pedway continues east into the Block 37 shopping complex. The Pedway passes through various fast food options and restaurants here (Au Bon Pain, Simply Thalia, etc.). The larger building houses CBS and Morningstar. Air conditioning here works incredibly well in the heat of summer.The Pedway passes through another El station here, this time Washington on the Blue Line, before arriving at the Richard J. Daley Center. This was where I felt less confident taking pictures – security guards and police have a significant presence, and I was worried about being targeted as trouble of some sort. The pathways here are more confusing – identical, under lit, and looking like straight out of the movie Brazil. This is probably the busiest part of the Pedway, with City officials, lawyers, City workers, and hapless citizens scurrying around.
A rather dingy corridor continues east to 120 North LaSalle Street, which I took and then doubled back and north to the James R. Thompson Center via City Hall.
Being a fan of the Blues Brothers I paused at the Thompson Center. There is a particularly sweet plaque dedicated to Chief Building Engineer Stephen T. Hynes on the ground floor (with a note indicating that today was “Hynes Day”) and a somewhat anonymous sculpture on the first floor balcony.
The food court on the lowest floor is best avoided, but there is a path north to a series of buildings running east-west along Lake Street. This was somewhere I had wanted to explore for quite some time. The enclosed bridges and outside seating areas can be seen from the train as I travel to and from work. Up close, probably not so exciting, but worth a visit.
Doubling back to the Thompson Center, I took another path west to the Chicago and Trust Center where I snapped a pic of the 2006 sculpture “Manager” by Kerry Stewart. The Guardian has good things to say about her.
I hurried back to work pretty much along the same route I had come earlier. Somewhat ominously there is strange device just off the Thompson Center that seems to monitor air quality. Or something.
I exited at Three First National Plaza, where I was buffeted by the heat and the humidity.