State Street is located on the northern end of what was called Hubbard’s Trail, which was itself a portion of the Vincennes Trace, a buffalo migration route. Gurdon Hubbard used the buffalos’ route to establish a successful trade route, complete with helpful mile markers; the route was so successful that it became Illinois’ first state road: State Route 1.
On September 1, 1909, the intersection of State Street and Madison Street was designated as the center of the city’s grid and address system. (Prior to 1909, the Chicago River was used as the origin of the grid, which resulted in an inconsistent address system.) This intersection is in the heart of the Loop, just steps away from the old Marshall Field’s and Carson Pirie Scott flagship stores and a stone’s throw away from the Chicago Theater.