Three Kinds of Blue on Dearborn Street

Have you seen the new subway entrances that the CTA is using in the Loop?  They’re nice.  They remind you of the quaint Quincy elevated station (the only CTA station without advertising).

When a pack of businessmen in trench coats and fedoras flush out of the tunnel during rush hour it just feels like you’re looking back in time.  I’m not sure if Chicago is the only city in the world where men still wear fedoras and pork pie hats, but I’m grateful that some things haven’t changed.  Especially when you consider the alternative.

This monstrosity is just a block away and represents the worst of the city’s mass transit architecture.  According to Chicago-L , this entrance is from the mid-80’s based on designs from the 70’s.  It looks like it.  Utilitarian in the worst sense of the word.  But there’s relief just two more blocks away.

Unlike London, Tokyo, Paris and other cities, there aren’t many private subway entrances in Chicago.  This may be the only one.  It’s in front of the Chase Tower (10 South Dearborn) and instead of having layers of caked-on blue paint, it features nice brass plaques and stonework that matches the nearby plaza.  Chase finished this project in 2008 and the results are great.  Though most people don’t think of it, it’s a little gift to the city from the bank.


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

Share This Post On


  1. Wouldn’t the Marshall Field’s entrance count as a private subway entrance, too?

    Post a Reply
  2. I don’t think the Marshall Field’s entrance counts because it doesn’t open up directly to the subway station. It opens up to the pedway which then connects to the Red Line.

    But now that you brought that up, it jogged my memory and I think that 33 North Dearborn has a direct entrance to the Blue Line.

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply to Mark Herman Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.