One of Chicago’s most iconic thoroughfares is putting on its Sunday best this summer in an effort to lure people back downtown.
While some people may have gotten used to the comforts of working from home, others may be itching to get out. The stakes for the city couldn’t be higher, especially for the owners and managers of the massive pieces of real estate in the city’s central business district that are still sitting mostly vacant.
Sundays on State would shut down the thoroughfare from Lake to Madison streets on Sundays for up to 12 weeks, starting in July. It’s just one part of the Chicago Loop Alliance’s efforts to bring pedestrian traffic and retail dollars back to the city center as Chicago’s COVID-19 recovery continues.
The Loop has been eerily quiet over the past year. COVID-19 has forced thousands of downtown office workers to stay home, while performing arts venues have retreated into hibernation. But many of the Loop’s small businesses and cultural institutions are still kicking.
Businesses and residents are bracing for the possibility of future upheaval following widespread theft and property damage on Sunday night. How police are responding — and what else is being done to address systemic issues.