Chicago Removes the World-Famous “Rat Hole” From Its Sidewalk

Chicago Rat Hole filled with water

Photo: WinslowDumaine via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Chicago is home to dozens of attractions that draw thousands of locals and tourists every year. And yet, none have caused the commotion the Chicago Rat Hole sparked a few months ago. While the buzz may have died down with time, the rat hole still prompted visits and tributes. Unfortunately, its tale has come to an end…at least for now. A few days ago, the city of Chicago extracted the sidewalk section where a rodent left its mark.

“Crews removed and successfully preserved the square of sidewalk containing the famous ‘Chicago Rat Hole’ and are storing it temporarily while its future location is determined,” a spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) said in a statement. “Given the notoriety, the goal was to remove it intact.”

The Chicago Rat Hole was located in the Roscoe Village neighborhood. The residents claimed that the dent had existed for decades, but it wasn't until January 2024 that it went viral on Twitter. People quickly made their way to West Roscoe Street, building a makeshift shrine, complete with a photo of a mouse, candles, and a cardboard coffin. Hundreds of eager visitors would stretch down the block. People paid their respects by leaving coins, stuffed toys, flowers, and wacky objects, like pills and store coupons.

Understandably, neighbors were upset by the trash and food littered at the site, as well as the noise made by visitors well into the night. Some people tried to take the matter into their own hands, filling and digging out the hole on multiple occasions since January. After months of issues, the alderman’s office asked CDOT to determine if the section of sidewalk met the criteria for repair and removal. Aware of the world-famous status of the rat hole, they aimed to save it in one piece, although they weren't sure if they'd be able to at first.

Now, the concrete slab with the rat hole is safely being stored by the CDOT while its future is determined. Although some would like it to go to a museum, it's unclear where it could it be displayed next, if at all. “There’s discussion about what could or should happen with it,” Paul Sajovec, chief of staff for 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack, who represents the area, told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s a piece of city infrastructure.”

A few days ago, the city of Chicago removed the sidewalk section where the world-famous Chicago Rat Hole stood.

Chicago Rat Hole filled with coins

Photo: JunLpermode via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Now, the concrete slab with the rat hole in it is safely stored away by the Chicago Department of Transportation while its future is determined.

Tributes around a snowed in Chicago Rat Hole

The Chicago Rat Hole Memorial at night, a few hours after the cement/plaster had been cleared. (Photo: Piemadd via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

h/t: [Chicago Tribune]

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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