Wednesday, July 5, 2017

1860s Lake Front Illustrations from Illinois Central RR

(This posting has morphed into IC and the lakefront over time except for the freight operations up by the river, which is in another post.)

In the 1800s, the shoreline was at Michigan Avenue and the richest houses were built along it for the lake front  view. But the owners were learning that lake erosion was a serious threat to Michigan Avenue (and their property value). A breakwater was needed. As explained in Crossing War, the Rock Island beat the Illinois Central to the preferred entry into Chicago west of Calumet Lake. IC was granted permission to build an entry into the city in the lake because this would provide the breakwater that the city needed. They also did extensive landfill along the Chicago River to build grain elevators and other freight terminals.

JoAnne Gazarek Bloom posted, from Illinois Central RR files
Paul Petraitis posted
Varin aquatint published by Ackerman and Son in 1926 after a view by Louis Kurz in CHICAGO ILLUSTRATED, in 1865...looking south from Randolph Street...notice the caption on this printer's proof is in error!
Paul commented on his posting
Here's the view from the other direction...

JoAnne Gazarek Bloom posted, from Illinois Central RR files
JoAnne Gazarek Bloom posted, from Illinois Central RR files
Lakefront at 35th: The Old Soldiers' Home
Thomas Manz posted
Library of Congress panorama showing Grant Park in development
Paul Petraitis added two photos to Thomas' posting:


JoAnne Gazarek Bloom posted, from Illinois Central RR files
Lakefront at 35th:  Douglas' Tomb

JoAnne Gazarek Bloom posted, from Illinois Central RR files
Lakefront at 35th:  beach

Todd Protzman Davis posted, cropped
Michigan Ave. from Park Row, 1866. “Park Row takes its name from a block of brown stone buildings which for a long time stood alone, facing the South end of the Lake Park, the right resting upon the Lake Shore. Since then, other buildings of white stone have been built between the Row and Michigan Avenue. It is one of the finest residence locations in the city. Among those residing on this place are W. F. Coolbaugh, Esq., C. G. Wicker, Esq., Col. John VanArman, Henry G. Miller, Esq., John Van Ayer, Esq., and others.” James W. Sheehan December 1866
Tate Nudo How far south would this be
David Daruszka Approximately Roosevelt Rd. (12th Street).
David Daruszka The Illinois Central Railroad built a pier and causeway in agreement with the city to stop lakefront erosion of Michigan Avenue. That created a small lake that was eventually filled in with debris from the Great Fire.
Todd Protzman DavisTodd and 4 others are consistently creating meaningful discussions with their posts. Also dirt and debris from the foundations due to the building boom in the Loop.
David Daruszka Much of the land east of the Metra Electric track (formerly Illinois Central) came from construction and cinder fill from all the coal fired boilers in the downtown buildings. The Chicago Freight Tunnel had a track extension into what would become Grant Park.
Karen Operabuffa When the $anitary and Ship Canal was excavated, the city council bought the dirt and used it for landfill as well.
Todd commented on his posting
Todd commented on his posting
David Daruszka commented on Todd's posting

George Miller fixed Kevin Paul's post
Michigan Avenue before the fire, glass slide (EBay listing).
Paul Petraitis This is a lantern slide which was later projected on a screen for lectures. This lantern slide is a copy of an original (Hesler?) photograph. Lantern slides are rarely original images.

Paul Petraitis posted
A map by Alfred Scharf of the lake shore just before the Illinois Central railroad changed everything...
Paul PetraitisPaul manages the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for 1844 Chicago. Myrick's shown at 30th StSusan O'Connor DavisSusan and 44 others joined 1844 Chicago within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! Widow Watson's tavern, marks the beginnings of Hyde Park.
David Daruszka posted
Looking north from approximately 12th Street. The tents are an encampment for the troops called out during the Haymarket riots [May 4, 1886]. The park ground they are camped on was created with debris from the Chicago Fire. That area was once a small lake that was created when the IC built their tracks into Chicago.
Dennis DeBrulerYou and 3 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. I went back and looked at your photos for the walkway between a lake dock and the Van Buren Street Station. The truss in the background appears to be part of that walkway. And we can see boats at the pier by the dock.
Paul Petraitis shared
1896 moving the tracks below street level in the Loop.
Dennis DeBruler An interesting perspective on the two grain elevators. It helps place where they were along the Chicago River. Note the ferry at the Van Buren Station dock.

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.
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.]

William Shapotkin posted
How many remember the "streetcar bridge" over the IC trks at Central Station in Chicago? Built for access to the World's Fair in 1933-34, it survived into the early 1950s. Here we see a W/B car, working CTA Rt #12 -- ROOSEVELT, x/o the IC. BTW -- are those not NYC cars (perhaps off a Michigan Central train from Detroit (?)) visible at left? View looks south. Wm Shapotkin Collection.
John Mann At the entrance there were two stained glass windows one for IC and one for the Michigan Central. In the 1850s the IC, MC and CB&Q shared a station that burned in the Chicago Fire. The Q went it's own way after the fire. There are before and after shots in Overton's history of the Q.

David M Laz posted
Look Ma, no trees! Baby Grant Park in 1929
Sharon Avendano shared
Karen De Pirro Do I see Gunsaulus Hall attached to the Art Institute? Ending at.....nothing?
Growing up in Chicago posted
1924 - The Field Museum
Sharon Avendano shared
Kevin Lloyd shared
Lincoln’s funeral train parked on the trestle over Lake Michigan.
Ken Schmidt Evie N Bob Bruns Starting on page 194 of Volume 2; Moses & Kirkland's "History of Chicago", published 1895, is a description of the building of the IC line along the lake, starting with the procurement of the rights in the lake, and everything involved.
Ken Schmidt There was also mention in Goodspeed's "History of Cook County", page 54 of Volume 2, published 1909.
[The comments indicate that the tracks were moved further east. And of course the tracks are now a cut through landfill.]
Kevin Lloyd commented on his share
1863 map close up
I repeat the above photo because it doesn't have the brown shade.
William Russ posted
Monday, May 1st, 1865 - Abe Lincoln's Funeral Train, Illinois Central RR Breakwater, Chicago. The tracks ran along the lakeshore at one time.

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

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