Michigan Central (MC) was not happy with an eastern competitor joining IC and MC at the Illinois Central stations. (IC had more than one station in the 1800s as it kept outgrowing the last one it built.) So when IC elevated its tracks around the turn of the 19th Century, the B&O did not build a connecting ramp. Instead, they took advantage of the financial difficulties of the Chicago area properties built and acquired by the president of the Northern Pacific including Grand Central Station to form the B&O Chicago Terminal (C&OCT) Railroad in 1910.
Brandon McShane provided more history of their early depot usage in a comment on a posting:
B&O used a portion of the Inter-State Exposition Building, roughly on the site of the Art Institute, as its Chicago terminal until IC's track elevation through Hyde Park and Woodlawn broke the connection at Brookdale. The first B&O passenger trains called on Grand Central Station on Decembr 1, 1891.The Brookdale Spur served as an industrial spur until the 1970s. Forgotten Chicago documents the industries served and how the RoW has been reused.
|108. B&O Industrial Tracks 71st Street Grade|
[109 is Carpenter Coal - Woodlawn Fuel Co.
110. Team Tracks
112 Freight Connection IC Main Line]
While studying the 1897 Map, I noticed that this spur allowed the B&O, as well as the IC, to directly serve the 1893 Columbia Exhibition.
|David Daruszka posted|
Track elevation at 69th Street on the Illinois Central. The station sign says "Brookdale", which is the present day location of one of the substations for the Metra Electric. Brookdale was also the connection point between the B&O and IC. David R. Phillips Collection. The date on the photo is not legible.
Lawrence Smith read somewhere that when the Ic elevated, the BO connection at Brookdale ceased to exist and the BO adopted their circuitous route via south Chicago/Beverly etc. turning W at RI Jct.
Bob Lalich The B&O diverted their trains to Grand Central via the Chicago & Calumet Terminal in 1891. The IC was elevated at Brookdale shortly after 1900.
David Daruszka I was told that David R. Phillips rescued many glass plate negatives from the demolition of Central Station where they were stored. This print may be from one of them, possibly a contact print off an 8X10 negative.
See photos of the 76th Street Depot.
A photo of the IC south Branch crossing the Brookdale branch at Commercial and 83rd. In the comments I discuss this as evidence of the track density that used to be in Chicago. Thus the label "just horses".