Damen Silos – Chicago, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Damen Silos

These abandoned grain silos and tunnels are an urban exploration dream. 


This dilapidated landscape was once a working system of interlocking grain elevators. Now abandoned but still left standing, the structures beckon urban explorers, graffiti artists, and general thrill seekers who wish to attempt the climb to the top.

In 1977, an explosion left the processing factory unusable. It was abandoned, but the many tunnels snaking throughout the sprawling property were never sealed. The tunnels and silos have since become canvases for graffiti artists.

Certain silos can still be accessed through basement tunnels. These dark passageways take you inside the enormous funnel bases, which are adorned with guide ropes that lead to questionably dangerous ladders to the top. The view from the top provides a vista of the Chicago skyline like no other, but be aware that climbing up there isn’t at all safe. 

Exploring the tunnels and lower levels of the site is an accessible day adventure for even an inexperienced urban explorer. In most areas, there’s a sense of safety as you wander through the rows and rows of gorgeous color that graffiti artists have left behind. 

Know Before You Go

Car access is available off of S Damen Ave, or you can reach it by foot or bike from the Canalport Riverwalk. There's a sign that says "State Property, No Tresspassing," so explore at your own risk. Security on site!

In partnership with KAYAK

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