Saturday, December 31, 2016

IC Freight Houses along Michigan Avenue in 1925

(Update: see also icing platform)
MWRD shared
 View looking south from Tribune Tower down Michigan Avenue - 1925 versus today.
Mike Tuggle also posted the 1925  view.
MWRD shared Living History of Illinois and Chicago posting
1925 view of Chicago's Michigan Avenue (south of the river), Grant Park, and the Wrigley Building.

David M Laz posted
This 1857 bird’s-eye view of Chicago shows that the area where Grant Park now sits was then completely under water. An Illinois Central Railroad trestle acted as a breakwater.
Paul Petraitis posted
Our original river/rail connection, 1858, probably a Hesler photo.
Paul Petraitis Original in the Chicago History Museum collections, a gift of Mrs. Lizzie Moulton Kneeland.
Richard Fiedler shared
Rick Powell The Buckingham family owned many of the grain elevators at the north end of the IC tracks. Namesake of the fountain and also the tiny town in Kankakee County.
David Daruszka commented on Richard's share
Image of the IC holdings in the lakefront and river. There was quite a panoply of railroads using IC's first Central Station (#2 in the image). The CB&Q had their first office building next to the station.
Thomas Manz commented on Richard's share
What was the last business or industry north of Randolph Street to have a rail connection?

David M Laz posted
An older view of the downtown IC yard. Note the old Chicago Public Library (now the Cultural center) to the far right.
Paul Petraitis 1880's Id guess...I don't see the Auditorium, do you?
Dave Creighton posted
Chicago. Along the lakefront in 1893.

Glen Miller posted
1906 postcard of the Illinois Central's yard. The Michigan Central Railroad, a subsidiary of the New York Central, shared track rights with the Illinois Central. The Michigan Central also shared the IC's Central Station in Chicago as well. A switcher locomotive sneaking behind the freight cars, lower right.
Glen Miller Vintage Railroad Postcards
David M Laz also posted
David Daruszka commented on a posting
Markham Yard in Harvey wasn't built until 1926. There were yards at Wildwood, Fordham and the main yards on the lakefront. Here's a postcard image of downtown.
From Glen's postcard source above, same vintage
[You can use the two water towers to orient this view with the 1880s view above.]
Grant Park, 1906 from Chicago Curbed
Dan Imal posted
Grant park 1920.
[You can barely see the yards by the river, and that is the point. This shows why a 1915 Smoke Abatement Report forced the IC to electrify its service in Chicago's "front yard."]
By 1927 the large grain elevators built with wood along the river served by the IC and other tenants of Central Station such as NYC's Michigan Central had been replaced by freight houses.

Don Andrade posted
Looking South from the top of the Tribune Tower at night, 1927.
[This shows more of the IC yards to the east. Too bad it's an "artsy" nighttime shot instead of an informative daytime shot.]
Mike Tuggle posted
Chicago at the river, 1943.

Curtis Carter posted
1954 - Looking north on Michigan Ave. Prudential Building under construction. What a GREAT idea to get rid of the freight train yard and above-ground parking lot.

Alexander Goman  >> Forgotten Chicago
Near the north end of the Illinois Central looking southish.
[This shows the large number of outbound boxcars they would park between the two freight handling wings.]
David M Laz posted
The old IC yard just north of Monroe, where Millennium Park and Illinois Center now stand.
[Note the crosswalk at the end of the boxcars is closed in this shot.]

Track side images of the freight houses along Michigan Avenue near the river.

Frank Smitty Schmidt posted
NYC switch engine working at the IC's South Water St freight terminal in 1943. NYC did lease space from them.
Delano / OWI

A Jack Delano Photo
South Water Street Freight Depot - Chicago, 1943

Jack Delano, LoC, 1943
Gregory Russell commented that the RR cars by the freight warehouse are directly on top of where Stetson Street is now. [LoC]

David Habben posted
I finally found out what "Blended 33 to 1" meant. For consistency, they blended 33 vats of beer together each time they bottled it so it was as close to the same flavor every time as possible.
Chet Lunsford South Water Street freight depot of the Illinois Central Railroad, Chicago. May 1, 1943. Photo - Jack Delano FSA/OWI
Glen Miller They took down this sign to make room for the Prudential Building which was built on air rights over the railroads.
[Before it was a PBR sign, it was a Chevrolet sign.]

Chet Lunsford The sign was animated and employed a company of workers to keep it operating. Here is a video explaining the workings of the sign when it was the "Bow Tie"
Billy Hartford Just amazed by the crew of men , climbing around without any safety equipment on whatsoever. What is insane to us..was once the norm . Very informative video..thanks .
Chet Lunsford A link to a very high resolution image of this photo, via Shorpy. If you look closely, you can still make out the old Chevy bow tie logo on the sign. 
David M Laz also posted
[Jack Delano, May 1, 1943, LoC]
Illinois Central Railroad Scrapbook posted
Around 1956 an IC train powered by GP9's 9139, 9080, and 9215 was photographed at South Water Street Yard in downtown Chicago. In the background is the recently completed Prudential Building. The 41 story skyscraper was constructed between 1952 and 1955.
This view shows how the Prudential building was built over IC's tracks. Prudential paid the IC over $2.2 million for air rights. These air rights allowed Prudential to build atop IC's tracks and to sink 260 caisons into the ground to support the building, but the railroad retained ownership of the ground underneath the building. The concept of air rights was still relatively novel in the 1950's and several lawsuits were filed against the IC. All were settled in favor of the railroad and helped set legal precedent.
Today the freight yard is gone, but the IC's electrified commuter line into Randolph Street Station (now renamed Millennium Station) remains. The whole area is now covered by Millennium Park (and its underground parking garages).
IC photo, Cliff Downey coll.
Update: I thought I already had a posting on IC's South Water Street Freight House. At least I didn't post duplicate topics. I just copied the other content to here. I include Edward Jarolin's posting even though it is a duplicate of David Habben's posting because it has better color.

Edward Jarolin shared
Edward's comment:

The IC yard at Grant Park on Chicago's lakefront. Looking north between Central Station (behind) and the electric line's Randolph St. Station(beyond the Pabst sign).

Martin G. Sorenson posted
Chicago, April 1943. "New York Central diesel switch engine moving freight cars at the South Water Street terminal of the Illinois Central R.R." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information.
Edward Jarolin also posted
New York Central SW1 switching at the Illinois Central's Water Street Terminal in Chicago. NYC rented space here from IC. This April, 1943 photo by Jack Delano.
A close look will show the original stubby stack on the SW1.
Cliff Downey posted two photos with the comment:
The Illinois Central operated one of the largest freight houses in Chicago at South Water Street. The facility specialized in "less than carload" freight, i.e. if a shipper didn't have enough freight to fill an entire freight car, the freight could be loaded into a freight car (usually a boxcar) with LCL freight from other shippers. Each day large volumes of freight moved from the facility. To help improve efficiency, and enable crews to move quickly from one side of the facility to another, the retractable walkway seen in these photos was installed. Typically the walkway sat perpendicular across the tracks. But shortly before the yard switcher arrived to pick up and drop off cars, the walkway swung out of the way, as seen in these two photos. Electric motors moved the walkway across a wooden platform built across the tracks. Only about 5 minutes were needed to move the walkway in either direction. As a side note, part of the outbound freight house was damaged by a fire on the night of March 14, 1957. Despite the damage the facility was open for business the next day. Today, the South Water Street freight house is long gone, and the site is now occupied by Millenium Park. IC photo, 1958, Cliff Downey collection.


(FMI: IC Jack Delano search)

Jack Delano, 1943, LoC
Jack Delano, 1943, LoC

Jack Delano, 1943, LoC

Jack Delano, 1943, LoC
Edward Jarolin posted
Part of the IC's South Water St. freight terminal in Chicago. 
April, 1943 photo by Jack Delano
Jack Delano, 1943, LoC
Jack Delano, 1943, LoC
The building with the statue on top would be Montgomery Wards first Headquarters building.
Jack Delano, 1943, LoC
Jack Delano, 1943, LoC

Jack Delano, 1943, LoC
David Daruszka posted
Jack Delano again. The Wrigley Building is in the center and The Chicago Tribune Tower is the tall building to the left of the Chessie freight house.
Dennis DeBrulerGroup Admin NKP and C&O is a surprise. The NKP came to town on NYC LS&MS tracks (La Salle Station area). The C&O came to town on the C&WI (Dearborn Station area).

Bob Lalich C&O of Indiana predecessor Chicago Cincinnati & Louisville originally used the IC from a location in Riverdale called Highlawn, to reach downtown Chicago.

Bob Lalich Both NKP and C&O used a connection at the north end of Fordham Yard to access the IC. C&O used NKP's Chicago terminal facilities for some time. They were both under Van Sweringen control for many years.

Joseph Tuch Santucci They ran over the IHB? Never heard that before.
Bob Lalich commented on David's posting
It was only for a short period of time, but IHB and predecessor Chicago Hammond & Western were used from a location in Burnham called Louisville Jct to Highlawn. This original route was out of service by 1915.

I skipped his night views in the search results except this one because it traces a crewmember walking with a lantern.

Jack Delano, 1943, LoC
Screenshot -9:30 from a 1940s film about Chicago
David Daruszka posted
Looking north east shows the two elevators marking the Chicago River. To the left the the small white building with windows was the original headquarters of the CB&Q Railroad.
Dennis DeBrulerGroup Admin What is CB&Q doing in IC territory? I learned just today that CB&Q had offices over where thier tracks curved from heading east to heading north. DeBrulerGroup Admin Was IC so important back then that CB&Q felt they had to have their offices close to the movers and shakers? Then later they thought they were important enough that they could have their offices near their own operations.Bob Lalich CB&Q used IC's station for a period of time, before Union Depot was built. CB&Q was a 25% owner of the St Charles Air Line, which provided access to IC's lakefront facilities.
David Daruszka posted
An illustration from a map book by Rand McNally shows the collection of freight terminals that covered the north end of the IC property.
Dennis DeBrulerGroup Admin The river still has swing bridges, but the boats are steamers instead of schooners.
Dennis DeBrulerGroup Admin It looks like the McCormick Reaper plant has already moved away from the north shore.
Paul Petraitis posted
Detail scanned from the J.T. Palmatary lithograph, 1857, CHS
Paul Petraitis The City and the ICRR reached an uneasy agreement on the 3 mile breakwater...some have said the ICRR wanted to enter Chicago on the industrial West Side, instead it came downtown through a whole lot of Steven Douglas's southside property. Anybody seen any archives with correspondence between City Hall and the IC?Paul Petraitis Sure wish someone could find the original drawing that this litho was made from! Probably burned in the Great Fire...BTW this is a scan from CHICAGO;GROWTH OF A METROPOLIS and (bragging) I've learned how to virtually eliminate the halftone dots in any book, magazine or art print...just sayin'..
David Daruszka commented on Paul's posting
Another view

David Daruszka commented on Paul's posting
1871 same as this larger image

David Daruszka commented on Paul's posting
Here's your 1857 image, some tweaking involved.
Paul Petraitis commented on his posting
Here we're looking east at the Rush Street bridge about 1860.
[I originally saved this in the Rush Street Bridge notes, but it is worth copying here also.]

Bill Molony posted
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Baldwin VO-1000 end-cab diesel switch engine #9358 and caboose #14837 at the Illinois Central's Roosevelt Road station in Chicago on June 9, 1946.
[It probably dropped of a cut of interchange traffic and will now run light back over the St. Charles Air Line to Cicero Yard.]
Jim Arvites posted
An early 1950's view looking south of the Illinois Central Railroad freight yard in downtown Chicago taken from the Chicago Tribune Tower.
Patrick McNamara The photo I posted is dated 1952.Matthew Chapman I saw info from somewhere saying the Prude was finished in 1955. Need to check that.Patrick McNamara It was. The initial photo was probably taken from the 333 N. Michigan Avenue Building.

[The Pabst sign was on Randolf.]
Philip Wizenick posted
I.C. Freight yard at the Chicago river and lakefront. The Municipal (Navy) Pier hasn't been built yet so that dates the photo prior to WW I.
[From another posting, "the elevated road is Randolph Street."
Jay Nawrocki Where that boat is, is where Lake Shore Drive crosses the river now. That yard was there not too long age. I remember looking down into that yard from Wacker Drive when I was a kid. All covers up by buildings now.]
David Daruszka commented on Philip's posting
Sometime between 1902-09 when the landfill was undertaken to create Grant Park.

David Daruszka commented on Philip's posting
They used ash from the various boilers of buildings in the Loop as well as a lot of other debris for landfill. It was delivered by the freight tunnel trains and probably by horse cart as well. I see a temporary roadway north of the Art Institute that connects to the structure over a bridge.

David Daruszka commented on Philip's posting
About the same location as the right side of the posted image. Two dredges are at work.
Lorri Redmon posted
"A 1937 view of the lakefront, with the rail yards that would became Grant Park on the left. The ivory Wrigley Building can be seen on the middle left of the photo. — Chicago Tribune historical photo"
Paul Grajciar Are you sure of the date? This looks to be at least a decade earlier.Lorri Redmon I took it as a quote from. Not sure if they're completely accurate. Bransky It did look a lot like that a decade earlier. However the Lake Shore Drive Bridge is present. It opened in 1937.

David Daruszka commented on Lorri's posting
Grant Park had already been built on landfill east of the Illinois Central tracks by 1937. A portion of the freight yards became surface parking for automobiles. That would eventually become todays Millenium Park. The area in the lower portion of this photo would be developed with buildings like the Prudential and Illinois Center.

David Daruszka commented on Lorri's posting
An older image of the same location.

Anamaria Spiteri commented on Lorri's posting
Compared to...Manage
Dave Gudewicz posted
1893 image of the Art Institute, yet to be completed. No lions until 1894. Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge from Boston were the architects. Roof signage to the north "Trocadero", a vaudeville theater.
A little know fact. Just beneath the cornice are the names of various artists, etched in stone. On the north wing Michelangelo's name is spelled wrong.
[Note the tracks and grain elevators in the background.]
I shared
David DaruszkaDavid and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. Completed in time for the 1893 Columbian Exposition it housed the World Congress Auxiliary. The World’s Congress Auxiliary (WCX) of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 consisted of a series of meetings on almost every scholarly and cultural topic affecting the rapidly changing society of the 1890s. The congresses were held in the newly built Art Institute of Chicago, and ran concurrently with the Exposition from May 15 – October 28, 1893. The Auxiliary consisted of 19 departments: Woman’s Progress, Public Press, Medicine & Surgery, Temperance, Moral & Social Reform, Commerce & Finance, Music, Literature, Education, Engineering, Art, Government, Science & Philosophy, Labor, Religion, Sunday Rest, Religious Societies, Public Health, and Agriculture. Within these 19 departments, scores of the most prominent national and international leaders in the arts, sciences, business, and theology convened over 200 individual Congresses consisting of thousands of addresses, meetings and symposia.
Paul Petraitis Probably from the Auditorium Tower.
Paul Patraitis posted
One of the best photos of Chicago you'll ever see, taken in 1968 by my boss, the late great Walter Krutz who shared the darkroom at CHS with me for 17 years...this tremendous panorama was commissioned by U of C Press as part of the monumental CHICAGOLAND; GROWTH OF A METROPOLIS. Taken with a large-format WIDELUX it captures the site of Ft. Dearborn as good as the Hesler photos from the 1850's...scanned from an original 8x10 silver print that Wally gave me when he cleaned out his stuff when he retired in 1985.
Dennis DeBruler This view is not only the first time I have seen the north side of the Prudential Building, this is the best view I have seen of the IC freight houses. This skyline makes you appreciate that there was a breakthrough in the 1970s for building foundations in a swamp for skyscrapers. Manhattan Island is built on the remnants of a mountain range. They barely had to scratch the surface to reach bedrock.
Phil Hanson It looks like the area south of the river and east of Michigan, where the IC freight houses are is below the level of the river. Is that possible or is it just an illusion?
Paul Petraitis I do beleive that the easternmost tracks in the yard were at original "Chicago datum" and yes would be below the river by a little...
Phil Hanson That's what I thought also. I've never seen such a clear illustration about how much the city has been raised.
Per my request, Paul digitally zoomed into the IC area as a comment on his posting
I shared Paul's posting. A discussion about a gantry crane over team tracks is now its own posting.
David Daruszka commented on my share
At one time there was a railroad swing bridge across the mouth of the Chicago River that connected the IC with the C&NW.
Dennis DeBrulerYou and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. And the lower deck of the Lake Shore Drive Bridge was originally planned to be a railroad connection.
Bill Archer commented on a posting
This is a digital photo of a picture that hung in the IC B&B Shop at 18th Street. As near as I can tell it is late 1930s or early 1940s.
[The comments date it between 1925 (Tribune Tower done) and 1929 (Carbon and Carbide building started).]

David Daruszka posted 24 images concerning the lakefront freight operations with a comment on each photo.

Photos of the early impact of the IC along all of the lakeshore.

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