Sunday, November 8, 2015

GM&O/Alton Freight House

(3D Satellite)

(Update: GM&O/Chicago & Alton had another freight house in their Brighton Park Yard.)

I didn't know any freight houses were left in Chicago until Fidencio Marbella posted these pictures in Facebook's Abandoned Rails Group indicating the GM&O/Chicago & Alton freight house still stands. His comments were:
According to the Chicago Tribune, the old Chicago & Alton Freight Station in Chicago (358 W. Harrison) is due to be demolished by around Thanksgiving. The building was last used by the USPS and is known as the "Sugar House." Not sure the origin of that name but maybe someone a little more knowledgeable can shed some light on that? 
From what I'd read it's related to the efforts to redevelop the old main post office just to the west: Chicago Tribune article.

Fidencio Marbella
Fidencio Marbella
A I-290/Congress ramp runs along the north side of the building. That is why he could not step back to get a better angle for these shots.
Fidencio Marbella
Fidencio Marbella
The left picture is the east side and on the right is the south side. The old post office is in the background of these two pictures.
Bird's Eye View
Below is a 1938 aerial photo with Union Station at the top. I placed a red rectangle around Alton's remaining freight house. That was the warehouse part. The freight handling buildings were south of Harrison and are now gone because that is where the new post office was built.
1938 Aerial Photo from IHLAP
David Daruszka posted
The Alton Freight House, which is scheduled for demolition, was part of the massive private investment by the railroads in Chicago. The Chicago terminal was completely reconfigured as part of the project to build the new Union Station. Sometime in the future few vestiges of the what the railroads meant to the city's economy will be left.
David Daruszka commented on a posting

The remaining piece is the section between Congress and Harrison.
We can see the freight handling buildings on the right side near the bottom. The warehouse buildings are in the lower-right corner.
Richard Pitchford posted, 1972
A construction worker stands atop the attenna of the Sears Tower,
nearing completion, 1972, Chicago. He is untethered, about 1485 feet in the air.
David Daruszka posted
The Broadway Limited departs Chicago's Union Station in 1961. Richard H. Solomon, photographer.
Dennis DeBrulerGroup Admin Pennsy (right) and CB&Q (left) Freight Warehouses, the old post office in the left background, and Harrison Tower at the lower-right corner of the post office. But I don't know what the skinny skyscraper is in the middle of the background. That is probably the Chicago & Alton Freight House to the east of the old post office. It still stands. But I read a developer of the old post office wants to tear it down. I lost track of whether or not it is the current developer.
The skyscraper is part of the Civic Opera House.]

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