On the Trail of a Disorderly Future is partially supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

All material © Hui-min Tsen

Deep beneath the surface of the city, a tangled ribbon of corridors runs throughout 40 blocks of downtown Chicago. This meandering passage appears to have grown up organically as if it were an animal's burrow or a donkey's path.  Its route is illogical: the corridors exist outside of known space, and its hidden entrances lead to mysterious destinations. What is this place?  It is the Chicago Pedway, an intricate non-system of pedestrian tunnels built to separate the citizens of the city from the dangers and foul weather encountered on the street.

The tour is a participatory look at the myth and mystery present in our everyday landscape.  The tour re-imagines the tunnel's origins according to residual undercurrents in our urban history: fear of others, discontent and its Utopian counterpart (order), control, wonder, and fantasies of the future. During the tour, visitors will catch glimpses of characters including a fearful Grand Duke, a 19th century capitalist, a time traveler, and an eccentric president as well as hear stories about the history of Chicago and multi-level walkways. Although some residents may be familiar with portions of the Pedway, few have walked its entirety from end to end. The 90-minute tour starts at the beginning with the Renaissance Hotel, winds through corridors, lobbies, and connecting train platforms unmarked on maps, to reach the Pedway's conclusion in a magnificent vista on the 42nd floor of the Swissotel, all without ever stepping outside.

To sign up for the mailing list, email: disorderlyfuture@gmail.com.   For more on the artist, visit: www.huimintsen.com.

Tour Length: 90 minutes /2 miles

Price: Free

Starting location: Southwest corner of State St. and Wacker Dr., in front of the Renaissance Hotel.

Important Information: The tour enters Chicago’s CTA, so bring $2.25 or a CTA card/pass to enter the train station.   The tour heads up and down multiple stairways and escalators, so Pedway walkers should be aware that the tour is not handicap accessible.


Point-of-Interest # 15: The First Tunnel


Point-of-Interest # 13: Angileri's Barbershop