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A city work crew on Wednesday removed the slab of sidewalk containing the famous rat hole in the 1900 block of West Roscoe Street.

A city work crew on Wednesday removed the slab of sidewalk containing the famous rat hole in the 1900 block of West Roscoe Street.

Brian Ernst and Pat Nabong

Chicago rat hole in Roscoe Village removed by city

The Chicago rat hole, a rodent-shaped dent in a Roscoe Village sidewalk that went viral in January, was removed Wednesday morning by a city crew.

Crews arrived about 7 a.m. Wednesday and removed the slab of sidewalk containing the rat hole in the 1900 block of West Roscoe Street. Fresh concrete was poured before midday.

Starting in the winter, Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) received complaints about people gathering at the rat hole, according to his chief of staff Paul Sajovec.

That, along with other concerns about sidewalk conditions, prompted Waguespack to ask the city whether streets in the area warranted repair, Sajovec said.

“[The Chicago Department of Transportation] is removing and replacing sections of damaged sidewalk on Roscoe Street between Wolcott and Damen in coordination with the Alderman’s office,” CDOT said in a statement.

The nouveau tourist attraction was preserved, but its future home is yet to be determined, CDOT said.

Grace Pynnonen, 28, who lives on the block, said she will miss the rat hole. It felt like she was “living next to a celebrity,” she said.

“It was definitely amusing,” Pynnonen said. “It put our little neighborhood on the map.”

“I was like, ‘No way,’” said Pynnonen’s boyfriend, Isaac Cutrara, 27. “I thought, for sure, with the amount of people it has attracted, the people would be like ‘No, we’re not taking it down.’”

Cutrara saw the city trucks and crew from his home office.



A slab of sidewalk containing the Chicago rate hole was removed Wednesday. The Chicago Department of Transportation said it is removing “sections of damaged sidewalk” on Roscoe Street.

A slab of sidewalk containing the Chicago rate hole was removed Wednesday. The Chicago Department of Transportation said it is removing “sections of damaged sidewalk” on Roscoe Street.

Brian Ernst

Cutrara hopes the rat hole is preserved somewhere accessible to the public, like a museum.

“So people don’t forget what happened — the year 2024, the rat hole,” Cutrara said. “It’s been a fun era in Roscoe Village and sad to see it come to a close.”

John Wilkinson, 34, from Roscoe Village, used to walk by the rat hole every day on his commute. Though he found the rat hole “interesting,” he will not miss it too much, he said.

“Just smooth it over. Let something else happen organically, and see what happens,” he said.

Other passersby, like Gisselle Barajas, 23, from Lincoln Square, said the rat hole was a laugh shared among everyone.

“R.I.P. rat hole — a cultural phenomenon,” Barajas said. “It’s a good symbol of finding that silver lining in a silly way.”

Neighbors say the hole has been around for at least 20 yearsbut not everyone is convinced it’s a rat.

Nick Jones, 57, who has lived on the block for 14 years, said it’s “definitely a squirrel.”

“There used to be a big tree above it,” Jones said. “You could see where the branch was immediately above where the squirrel fell. Just the shape and the tail and everything.”

Now known as the “Chicago rat hole,” the sidewalk blemish went viral after Winslow Dumaine, a local comedian, posted about it on social media, leading to its own Wikipedia pageand widespread media attention. A couple even tied the knotat the landmark.

“I don’t think it’s gone yet,” Dumaine said. “Unless they go and smash the slab that the rat hole is on, it’s going to end up somewhere, and I have not given up hope.”

The rat hole’s sudden popularity did cause difficulties for neighbors. When the rat hole first exploded, visitors would be there in the morning until late into the night, Pynnonen recalled.

Pynnonen said tourists left behind inappropriate items “for a family-friendly neighborhood,” like condoms, pills and alcohol. Neighbors would have to clean up the area, she added.

“Some of them left coins. That’s not a big deal, but when you leave food, you’re gonna attract actual rats to the rat hole,” Pynnonen said.

“I will miss my quarter supply from the offerings that people have left,” said Pynnonen, who uses a coin-operated laundry, said.

As the crews worked on replacing the sidewalk, Jones joked that he was tempted to push another imprint of a rat into the wet concrete.

“So it’s there again for posterity,” Jones said. “It might take the city another 20 years to issue a work order to get rid of it.”

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