On Monday, Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot will be inaugurated as the city's next mayor. Emanuel remains the mayor until 12 p.m. on Monday.
Thank you, Chicago for the opportunity to serve as Mayor these past 8 years. I am grateful for all we accomplished together, humbled by the faith you put in me, and in awe of the Chicagoans I have been lucky enough to meet and work with at every step on this journey. pic.twitter.com/yl5qZjU6Ay— Mayor Rahm Emanuel (@ChicagosMayor) May 17, 2019
Emanuel did not stop and talk as he left, but he did shake hands and greet employees and department heads as he walked out of the building. His staff said it would be an emotional moment for Emanuel, as he wraps up his eight years of leading the city.
WATCH: Mayor Rahm Emanuel leaves office for last time
Earlier this week, I talked with the mayor about his decision not to run for a third term.
"I was dead tired. Being mayor is not a part-time job. There is no Fourth of July holiday. I knew I didn't have four years in the gas tank," Emanuel said.
WATCH: Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks about his legacy
I met Emanuel down at the Chicago Riverwalk to talk about the things he's most proud of, and some things that have been challenging for him.
At the end of our conversation, he talked about one of his biggest regrets. He said he wishes the city could have had a broader conversation about the importance of faith and family.
"Our kids need our structure in their lives. I say this as a father and I've seen it with young men and women to come into our office and we talk," Emanuel said. "They need a structure. Too often - because, talk about something getting polarized - we don't engage in a conversation that impacts safety, security and respect for the law."
Eight years ago, when Mayor Richard M. Daley left City Hall after 22 years in office, throngs of people gathered to say goodbye to him, in what was an emotional moment for many.
There was no official schedule for the mayor on Friday, but he did stop by a police station to thank officers. He also went by a high school; education has been a very important issue for Emanuel.