Near South Transfer Tunnel at State St. + Roosevelt Rd.

State St. and Roosevelt Rd., Chicago , Illinois / United States of America

The Near South Transfer Tunnel has been providing an easy connection between a below grade subway station, and an elevated station at Roosevelt and State, for over ten years. The tunnel maneuvers two levels, weaving between building foundations, elevated track piers, and underground utilities, connecting the two stations at narrow access points. The interior is designed to make the journey between platforms logical and entertaining, withstand harsh use and provide for easy maintenance. Its funnel shaped plan dramatically opens up the space exposing views of all three modes of vertical travel at the east end.

The architecture creates visual links to nearby museums by the use of wall graphics which takes the commuter on a visual journey through the evolution of the universe, starting with the Big Bang. A highly sculptural ceiling leaves one with the impression of walking through the spine on a dinosaur, and a mural at the exiting end of the tunnel give one the sense of being in a colorful jungle.

Still as bright and vibrant as it was the day it opened, the Near South Transfer Tunnel has withstood the rigors of harsh Chicago winters, heavily trafficked summers, and is still an exploration within the city.

Architect of Record

Muller & Muller, Ltd

Associate Architect

Muller & Muller, Ltd


Chicago Department of Transportation

General Contractor

Walsh Construction Co,


  • TyLin International
  • Jose DeAvila + Associates
  • Hanscomb/ Faithful + Gould