Secret Passageways

Navigate your way from Cobb to Walker without ever going outside.
Illustrated map of the secret passageways through buildings on the UChicago campus.
Photo by: 
Sofia Garcia

View a larger version of the illustrated map here.

Did you know that you can walk from one end to the quad to the other without ever going outside? The second floor of every building between Cobb Hall and Walker Museum is connected in some way, meaning that whether it’s snowy, rainy, windy, or all three at once (even though you swear it was sunny this morning), you can make it from one end to the other. We can’t promise that it’s quicker, but it’s something you can cross off your UChicago bucket list and impress the prospies with.

Start your route on the second floor of Cobb, the home of the language center. Facing the elevators, make a left (or go South if you prefer cardinal directions). At the end of the hall, dogleg to the right and you’ll find a small set of stairs. Go down them.

stairs hallway secret passageways

You are now entering Gates-Blake, home to the Public Policy Studies, Harper Schmidt Fellows, and language faculty offices. Walk to the end of the hall and go through the double-layer of doors.

You’ll immediately notice the black-and-white tiled floor distinctive to Goodspeed Hall, the music building. Listen closely and you might hear students practicing their instruments on the floor below. Keep going to the end of the hall and out the door where you’ll find a set of stairs to your left. Walk up half a flight of stairs and you’ll find a tiny alcove.

Floor of Goodspeed Hall uchicago secret passageways hallway

Enter the alcove and, if you have time, enjoy the view of campus. Take a view Insta-worthy pics of the quad or maybe a nice selfie or two. Once you’re done, go through the other door to Classics. This is where things get tricky. You’re going to make an immediate left and then another left at the next opening. Then, turn right and walk straight to the end of the hall.

alcove uchicago classics gothic architecture

Nice going, we made it to Wieboldt. Walk past the office for Romance Languages and Literatures and the Germanic and Nordic studies offices, through a set of doors and around the perimeter of the two interior classrooms, then through another set of doors and you’ll find yourself in Harper Memorial Library.

Keep going straight! You’re walking straight by more offices—this time belonging your academic advisers from the Office of the Dean of Students in the College, and the Dean of the College office. At the end of the hall go out the double doors and make a small right and pause to admire the lovely bust of Walt Whitman. Walk up half a flight of stairs and you’ll see two doors, the one on your right leads to the Social Science Research Building and one straight ahead of you goes to Stuart. Since Walker Museum is our end goal, we’ll enter Stuart.

Walt Whitman statue university of chicago uchicago

Walk past the brightly-colored philosophy department all the way to the end of the hall. Open the door to Rosenwald, where you’ll find the linguistics center.

Keep walking straight and eventually you’ll be forced to take a right. Continue through the door and you'll find yourself on the third floor of Walker. You can either continue straight into the English department, or make a left, go down the stairs and exit the building. 

walker museum college aid uchicago

Congratulations! You made it! You have conquered UChicago’s secret labyrinth. You can now brag to all your friends that you didn’t have to face the horrendous Chicago weather to get to class.

Photos by Zola Yi.

Tagged: uchicago, university of chicago, secret passageways