Saturday, September 3, 2016

GM&O's Brighton Park Railyard, Roundhouse then Freight House

(Update: GM&O also had a freight house near the loop.)
William A. Shaffer posted
GM&O E7As #102 & #102A at Chicago, IL (2.23.63)
(Photographer Unknown - Collection of William A. Shaffer)
The comment "Chris Hudson Southwest side..near old GM&O freight house 37th & California.." confirmed the smokestacks in the left background is the Crawford Generating Station. I've never seen photos of that station with more than two smokestacks, so I found it on an old aerial photo.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

Note only did it use to have four units, the units were of the same design. We can see in William's posting that two of the units have been upgraded. It is worth noting that even the 1938 units were running with very little soot in the smoke.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAPAlbany is on the left, and California is on the right.
36th Place is on the top, and 38th Street is on the bottom.
The freight house on the right side of the William's picture and Chris' comment got me digging deeper to find the freight house. In 1938, there was a significant rail yard and a roundhouse, but no freight house. The roundhouse is in the lower-left corner of the yard.

According to Historic Aerials, by 1952 the tracks north of the mainline had been removed and a large building was built on the east side. The turntable had been removed and the 1952 view is consistent with a comment in the posting that the lower-right part of the yard had become a lumber yard. The, I assume, ice house in the 1938 photo had been replaced by a long building that had tracks on the north side and trailer parking on the south side. So that would have been the freight house. William's photo must have been taken before 1952 when there were still tracks on the south side of the freight house.

The east side of the freight house still stands:

Birds Eye View
It appears to be part of  the Romar Transportation Systems complex.


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