Open main menu

State Street (Chicago)

State Street is a large south-north street in Chicago, Illinois, USA and its south suburbs. It begins at North Avenue, the south end of Lincoln Park, runs south through the heart of Downtown Chicago, and ends at the southern city limits, intersecting 127th Street along the bank of the Little Calumet River. It resumes north of 137th Street in Riverdale and runs south intermittently through Chicago's south suburbs until terminating at New Monee Road in Crete, Illinois. Its intersection with Madison Street (41°52′55″N 87°37′40″W / 41.8820°N 87.6278°W / 41.8820; -87.6278) has marked the base point for Chicago's address system since 1909.[1]

State Street
0 East/West
Former name(s)State Road
FromNorth Ave (1600 N)
ToNew Monee Road, Crete (25900 S)
The crossroads of Chicago's address system at State and Madison Streets

From north to south, State Street traverses the following community areas of Chicago: Near North Side to the Chicago River, Chicago Loop to Roosevelt Road, Near South Side to 26th Street, Douglas to 39th Street, Grand Boulevard to 51st Street, Washington Park to 63rd Street, Grand Crossing to 79th Street, Chatham to 91st Street, Roseland to 115th Street, and West Pullman to 127th Street,[2] where it terminates across from Riverdale Bend Woods.[3] The street runs parallel and adjacent to the Dan Ryan Expressway from 65th Street south to just beyond 95th Street, where State Street crosses the I-94 Bishop Ford Memorial Freeway to enter Roseland.


Chicago - State Street at Madison Street, 1897

The northern portion of the Vincennes Trace or Vincennes Trail, a buffalo migration route and an Indian trail which ran some 250 miles to Vincennes, Indiana, was called Hubbard's Trace or Hubbard's Trail since it connected Chicago with Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard's more southerly trading outposts. It took on the name State Road after some state-funded improvements.[4] Vincennes Avenue, one of Chicago's rare diagonal streets, is a vestige of the Vincennes Trace, and further south the trail eventually became Illinois Route 1. In its early days, State Road was unpaved and known for having mud so deep it was jokingly said that it could suck down a horse and buggy. In the late 1860s, Potter Palmer embarked on efforts to raise the profile and prestige of State Street. He enticed Marshall Field and Levi Leiter to move their prosperous and growing department store, Field, Leiter & Co., to the corner of State and Washington Streets in 1868, and he built his own Palmer House hotel nearby in 1870. For many years the city's most well-known seafood retailer, Burhop's Seafood, was located on North State Street, as well as the historic Chicago Theatre. The latter was lit by Commercial Light Company in 1958, making it the brightest thoroughfare in the world, according to the Chicago Tribune.[5]

State Street shoppingEdit

Chief of Staff of the United States Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and other officials during May 24, 2008 Memorial Day parade on State Street

State Street became a shopping destination during the 1900s and is referred to in the song "Chicago," which mentions "State Street, that great street." In 1979, the downtown portion was converted into a pedestrian mall with only bus traffic allowed. Mayor Richard M. Daley oversaw the State Street Revitalization Project and on November 15, 1996, the street was reopened to traffic.[6]

During the second half of the 20th century, State Street was eclipsed by Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile as a shopping district. Various projects to restore State Street's glory have been met with some success, and the State Street corridor is gaining residential as well as more traditional commercial development. Old Navy, Urban Outfitters, and The Children's Place have recently opened up flagships on State Street. Borders Books had a flagship on State, but the Borders chain has since shut down. Today, the only two main department store chains that remain are Macy's (the former Marshall Field's flagship store) and Sears (now closed) on State. The department store chain Carson Pirie Scott closed their flagship store on State Street on February 21, 2007 after over 100 years of business in that location. Target opened their State Street store in the landmark Carson Pirie Scott building on July 26, 2012. The Block 37 opened in 2009, bringing with it a large group of upscale retailers to State Street, including Anthropologie, Puma AG, and Zara. On January 12, 2012, Walgreens's opened a flagship location at Randolph Street,[7][8][9][10] where it had previously existed from 1926 to 2005,[11] when construction of Joffrey Tower necessitated its demolition.



Reliance Building (1890), 32 N. State Street

State Street is the location of many landmarks in downtown Chicago:

South SideEdit

Chicago Bee Building, 3647-55 S. State

Landmarks on State Street in Chicago's South Side, south of Roosevelt Road, include:


The bridge where State Street crosses the Chicago River is named the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge in honor of the World War II defenders of Bataan and Corregidor including those in the Bataan Death March.


  1. ^ Schorsch, Kristen (2009-09-01). "Chicago street-grid system turns 100 on Tuesday". Chicago Tribune.
  2. ^ "West Pullman" (PDF). City of Chicago. 2010. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
  3. ^ "Riverdale Bend Woods" (PDF). City of Chicago. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
  4. ^ Chicago's Highways Old and New From Indian Trail to Motor Road, Milo M. Quaife, D. F. Keller & Company, Chicago, 1923
  5. ^ Russell Freeberg (November 14, 1958). "State Street is Brightest Thorofare in the World with New Lighting System". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  6. ^ Gruber, William (1996-11-15). "Field's Chief Sees Great Profits From New State Street". Chicago Tribune.
  7. ^ Yerak, Becky (2012-01-09). "Walgreens opening new flagship store downtown: New concept will offer manicures, eyebrow-shaping, a barista, made-to-order sushi, a juice and smoothie bar, self-serve frozen yogurt and even a humidor". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  8. ^ Frost, Peter (2012-01-10). "City's new flagship Walgreens features luxury offerings, chatty pharmacists: Mini spa, 700 bottles of wine and face-to-face health advice at store opening Tuesday part of chain's emerging strategy". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  9. ^ Sweeney, Brigid (2012-01-09). "Walgreen goes upscale with new Loop flagship". ChicagoBusiness. Crain Communications, Inc. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  10. ^ Staff (2012-01-09). "Walgreens opening new Loop flagship location". ABC7Chicago. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  11. ^ Tuttle, Brad (2012-01-11). "Check Out the New Walgreens — Where You Can Get Sushi, Cognac, a Smoothie, and a Manicure". Time. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  12. ^