Quick access to top menu Direct access to main contents Quick access to page bottom

Behind the Scenes of Chicago’s Rat Hole Frenzy: Local Residents Speak Out

① The Place that Has Captivated Americans


There is no shortage of tourist attractions in Chicago, but would you believe that a ‘rat hole’ is driving an influx of tourists to flock to the state?  

The rat hole became famous well beyond the residential block where it marks the sidewalk – after X user Winslow Dumaine showed the sidewalk imprint in a post with the quip, “Had to make a pilgrimage to the Chicago Rat Hole.”

The image has now been viewed more than 5 million times, and with over 135,000 ‘likes,’ it is garnering attention from social media users and tourists visiting Roscoe Village.
Since then, the number of people visiting to see the rat hole has significantly increased.

Combining the words rat and pothole, people call it a “Rat Hole.”


The rat hole is located on the sidewalk on the east side of Wolcott Avenue, south of the 1900 block of West Roscoe Street, in the Roscoe Village area.
It is believed to have existed for at least 20 years and imprinted when a rat fell on the wet concrete.
However, the true origins of the hole are up for debate, with some claiming a squirrel made the imprint.

Americans are creating a new culture, documenting their pilgrimages, and paying respects with flowers, candles, and other offerings.
There have even been proposals and weddings in front of the rat hole.
Americans have also gotten tattoos of the rat hole’s mark and made T-shirts.

Currently, there are a bunch of coins around the rat hole, as well as other notable signs and objects indicating the existence of the rat hole.

② Major Media Focus on the Rat Hole


With the growing popularity of the rat hole in Chicago, major media outlets have also focused on the place.
Local media reported, “Chicago has been named the city with the most rats in the United States for nine consecutive years,” and “Chicago citizens have come to enjoy this as a kind of ‘symbol.'”

Even within the United States, Chicago has been infamous for its rat infestation.
It was named the ‘city with the most rats’ for nine consecutive years, but ironically, it is now attracting tourists due to the rats.

Even local politicians have mentioned the rat hole.
An Illinois House of Representatives member, Ann Williams, shared a video on social media saying, “Visit the Chicago Rat Hole, the gem of the 11th District.”
She stated, “There is so much to see and do in this district,” including “great bars and restaurants, beautiful neighborhoods, the iconic Wrigley Field, and, of course, the Chicago Rat Hole.”

When an unknown substance filled the rat hole, Chicago residents gathered to restore it.
Ann Williams said, “Residents braved the cold to scrape off a substance like plaster from the rat hole and restore it,” adding, “This is the true meaning of community.”

③ Residents Express Discomfort

Courthouse news

With the rat hole gaining popularity, thousands of tourists are visiting the place.
As the number of tourists increased, residents had to suffer annoyance.
Some residents have even requested the local government to remove the rat hole.

There have been attempts to fill the rat hole.
One resident reportedly contacted a local city council member to inquire about removing the concrete sidewalk where the rat hole is located.

One resident criticized, “The rat hole, over 20 years old, has become a cheap marketing tool since it spread on the internet. Everyone just wants to use the rat hole to gain influence online.”
Residents are irritated by serious noise, garbage, and invasion of privacy.

Courthouse news

A resident of Chicago who claimed to live in the area posted a message titled ‘A Gentle Appeal from Rat Hole Residents’ on an online community.
They listed the damages residents have suffered since crowds started flocking to the rat hole.

The post mentioned that garbage, such as cigarettes, alcohol, and food, is piling up on the streets, and people are having alcohol parties on the streets.
A resident on the first floor stated that their privacy had been completely invaded.
They pointed out that public property in the area was being damaged, and street parking was happening all over the neighborhood.

The resident said, “It was fun for a day or two, but now it’s just annoying and unpleasant,” and conveyed, “I hope the local government takes action as soon as possible for the sake of the neighboring residents.”

As residents continue to express their discomfort, there have been reports that the rat hole may be removed.
Chicago Alderman Scott Waguespack said, “I don’t want to remove the rat hole, but I’m considering it because of the neighbors’ concerns,” and revealed, “We’re considering several options, but no schedule has been set.”

mememedia's Profile image




Share it on