12:00 pm EDT, March 19, 2015

An ‘Insurgent’-lover’s tour of Chicago

Ever wonder what the Chicago buildings and locations in Insurgent and the entire Divergent series look like in real life?

Article Continues Below

Take an Insurgent tour of Chicago by checking out all of the important spots in Tris and Four’s world and see how they compare to the actual places in one of the United States’ best cities.

While the war before the Divergent series begins may have rendered most of the city of Chicago uninhabitable, the landmarks are still pretty prominent and easily distinguishable. Chicago is one of the most important characters in the series (Insurgent especially) and so we thought it would be cool to compare the city in the book to the one that currently exists. See how much you know about the country’s third largest city!

The Sears/Willis Tower

In the books

The Hub is the main meeting place for all of the factions in the Divergent trilogy. Like the name suggests, The Hub is the central hub of activity for the entire city. It serves as the city hall for the factions where council meetings take place with representatives from all factions. Because it’s used for governmental purposes, the Hub is, presumably, in the control of the Abnegation.

The real life Chicago landmark

The Sears tower is one of the most well-known buildings in the city of Chicago, if not the most well-known. Built by Sears, Roebuck & Co., the building is 108 stories tall and, for 25 years, it held the record for being the tallest building in the world. It’s home to numerous companies and offices, as well as a few upscale restaurants and the Skydeck. The Skydeck has giant windows and retractable glass balcony boxes that allow visitors to literally stand above the entire city. In 2009, the Willis group changed the official name of the building to the “Willis Tower,” but no true Chicagoan will ever call it that.

The Chicago ‘L’

In the books

Trains circle the city non-stop in the post-war Chicago. They don’t make stops, nor is it easy to discern who (or what) is driving them. They’re the main source of transportation for the Dauntless faction who hop on and off of the trains at their rapid speeds.

The real life Chicago landmark

The ‘L’ train system connects the entirety of the city, as well as a few suburbs. There are 145 stops along the eight lines, all of which are denoted with a color. The lines are arranged in a sort of wheel spoke-manner where they all converge and focus transit around a central hub, called “The Loop.” Fun fact: The ‘L’ got its name from the fact that the rails are elevated above ground (in contrast to the subway in New York), but there are a few tunnels along the ‘L.’

The Merchandise Mart

In the books

The Merciless Mart is the home of the Candor faction and an important location in Insurgent. Because, after a while, only the letters “MERC IS MART” are left hanging on the building (and because the Candor faction is known to be pretty honest and merciless), all of the factions refer to the large building as the “Merciless Mart.” In addition to housing the Candor, the Merciless Mart has large meeting rooms among its 18+ floors and is decorated completely in black and white.

The real life Chicago landmark

Originally designed to be a “city within a city,” the Merchandise Mart is a giant commercial building in downtown Chicago. Located on the Chicago River, this building is mainly occupied by wholesale goods stores. In other words, architects and designers visit the stores in the Merchandise Mart to purchase what they need but these goods aren’t available to the public. The Merchandise Mart is also home to a few radio stations and a handful of trade fairs.

Related: ‘Insurgent’ is dramatically different from the book

Navy Pier

In the books

During their initiation in Divergent, the Dauntless newbies are woken up in the middle of the night and taken out to what seems like an abandoned amusement park or tourist attraction. While playing the late-night game of capture the flag, Tris and Four climb up a large, rusty Ferris wheel to be able to see their opponent’s hiding place, creating one of the series’ most iconic scenes. While Eric’s team hides their flag in the park area, Four’s team hides theirs in the old carousel. While the area seems pretty run down (not to mention abandoned), it’s not in terrible disrepair.

The real life Chicago landmark

Navy Pier is one of the hottest tourist spots in downtown Chicago and one of the city’s most famous landmarks. As its name suggests, Navy Pier is a pier on the Lake Michigan shoreline. The pier has had many functions over the years, but it’s currently home to a large Ferris wheel, an IMAX theater, a handful of restaurants, lake cruises, an exhibition hall, and more. All on one pier. It’s quite an amazing place.

The John Hancock Center

In the books

A few Dauntless initiates join a group of friendly Dauntless to zip-line off of a tall, abandoned building that was later identified as the Hancock building. It’s described as one of the tallest in the city and as having giant “X”es running down the side of it. The Hancock building is also used as a lookout spot in Insurgent when a couple of characters need to keep tabs on a particular faction.

The real life Chicago landmark

Located in the heart of Michigan Avenue and serving as one of the Magnificent Mile’s most famous landmarks, the John Hancock Center is Chicago’s fourth-tallest building and the actually seventh-tallest in the whole United States. The Hancock is home to condos, offices, and restaurants, the most famous being “The Signature Room on the 95th Floor” where diners have a great view of the city and Lake Michigan. This building also has an observatory called “360 Chicago” that rivals the Sears Tower’s Skydeck.

The Bean

In the books

In Divergent, when Tris goes to visit Caleb at the Erudite headquarters, the two walk outside and talk in front (and underneath) of a large metallic structure that’s shaped like a bean. Because the siblings don’t walk far to meet, it’s assumed that the Erudite faction is located in the buildings behind it (more specifically, the Chicago Public Library).

The real life Chicago landmark

The Bean (whose formal name is Cloud Gate) is a metallic structure/statue in Millennium Park. It was named “Cloud Gate” because its supposed to represent the passage between realms and nicknamed “The Bean” because of its odd shape. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. People from all over the world gather to take pictures in front of and underneath the Bean because of highly polished, mirrored surface. In the rare times that the Bean isn’t surrounded by people, its surface reflects and kind of distorts the city’s beautiful skyline.

A dedicated Divergent and Insurgent fan, @JiIIian, mapped out all of the important locations in the series for DivergentFans.com. Check out the map and see where all of the places are in relation to each other!

Which of these locations are you most looking forward to seeing in ‘Insurgent’?

Related: Hypable interviews ‘Divergent’ stars at Chicago Premiere
Related: Veronica Roth addresses controversial ‘Insurgent’ book-to-film changes

We want to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Write a comment below or submit an article to Hypable.

Introducing the Hypable app

Free for iOS and Android