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Chicago "rat hole" removed from sidewalk, but preserved intact

Crews remove Chicago's rat hole from sidewalk
Crews remove Chicago's rat hole from sidewalk 01:27

CHICAGO (CBS) -- One of Chicago's landmarks is in jeopardy, but the landmark in question had been getting on some neighbors' nerves anyway.

The Chicago "rat hole" was a rodent-shaped indentation in the concrete in front of a blond brick three-flat building at 1918 W. Roscoe St., between Wolcott and Damen avenues in Roscoe Village.

Winslow Dumaine

The rat hole had been there for several years—some estimate around 20—but gained fame on social media just this year when artist Winslow Dumaine showed the sidewalk imprint in a post on X, formerly Twitter, in January.

In particular during the weeks afterward, but ever since, tourists have gathered at the site – leaving some neighbors to complain to the city. Back in January, a nearby resident complained that people had been partying with alcohol; filming videos to promote their businesses, improv shows, or other personal interests; leaving garbage behind; and otherwise disturbing the peace.

But on Wednesday morning – a little over three months after it took Chicago by storm – the rat hole was gone. City crews removed and paved over the slab of concrete on which it was located, and others adjoining it.


A spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation told CBS 2 it had indeed replaced the damaged sidewalk on Roscoe Street.

But rest assured, the rat hole has not been jackhammered out of existence. Crews removed and preserved the square of sidewalk with the famous rat hole intact.

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) says whatever is left of the rat hole is now with the Department of Transportation and is unsure of what they intend to do with it in the long run. 

"They did say it was intact when cutting it out, but I imagine it could fall apart. I have no need for it here in Roscoe Village anymore, so it's up to CDOT to dispose of it," Waguespack said.   

CDOT is storing the sidewalk square temporarily while its future location is determined.

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