A sanitation worker crosses South LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago.
A sanitation worker crosses South LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

PHOTOS: This Is What Chicago Looks Like Without People Everywhere

Now that the Lakefront Trail and the 606 are closed to foot traffic, these scenes will become the new normal for even more Chicagoans.

A sanitation worker crosses South LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ
A sanitation worker crosses South LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago.
A sanitation worker crosses South LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

PHOTOS: This Is What Chicago Looks Like Without People Everywhere

Now that the Lakefront Trail and the 606 are closed to foot traffic, these scenes will become the new normal for even more Chicagoans.

A sanitation worker crosses South LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Union Station, Navy Pier, Millennium Park — quiet and deserted.

Downtown Chicago destinations normally packed with tourists and everyday pedestrian traffic emptied out after Illinoisans were ordered to stay at home starting Saturday evening.

But on Wednesday, March 25, bikers, runners and sunbathers clogged the Lakefront Trail as they took advantage of balmy weather in the 60s. The violation of social distancing guidelines — most egregiously perhaps via organized soccer games on the turf fields — prompted a swift rebuke from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and resulted in the overnight closure of the trail and some parks.

People congregate on the Lakefront Trail
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Illinois’ "stay-at-home" order does allow residents to leave their homes as long as they maintain six feet of separation between people — which may be easier to achieve in wide open spaces.

WBEZ photographer Manuel Martinez has been documenting the city as it empties out. Here’s what it looks like now:

Union Station

A few people sit on benches in an otherwise empty Union Station.
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ
Doors into Union Station. Columns cast shaodws onto an empty walkway.
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ
Columns at Union Station with a single person peeking out from behind on of them.
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Millennium Park

Crown Fountain, empty during the coronavirus pandemic.
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Cloud Gate stands alone, without people taking photographs of their reflections.
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ



West Jackson Boulevard and South LaSalle Street

A lone sanitation worker crosses the street. Three cars and parked. The Chicago Board of Trade Building is visible in the background.
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

The Art Institute Of Chicago

Empty staircases in front of the Art Institute of Chicago
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Grant Park

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago without people
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ
A view of an empty Grant Park through the trees.
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

The Thompson Center

An empty Thompson center
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Navy Pier

Empty Navy Pier with the Ferris Wheel in the background.
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ
Inside Navy Pier
Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Manuel Martinez is a visual producer and photographer for WBEZ. You can follow him on Twitter at @DenverManuel.