Wednesday, July 5, 2017

1860s Lake Front Illustrations from Illinois Central RR

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!

Glen Miller posted
Randolph Street Station, Chicago, in 1895 and one of the most exciting sounds in the world, was a steam engine pulling out of a station, blowing its whistle! Here are five of them.
Have you ever ridden on a steam engine?
Pierre Hamon shared
Pierre Hamon shared
Ralcon Wagner: Randolph Street Station would be reinvented many times over the past 100 years. During the late 1920s, early 1930s, a new modern station was built underneath Michigan Avenue to serve both IC electric commuter trains as well as South Shore trains. This facility endured for more than 60 years. It has been reconstructed extensively during 2000 - 2008 and is now known as the Millennium Station. Even in 2021, this is still a very heavily-used commuter station.
[Someplace in this blog I should have a photo of the coaling dock at Randolph Station. I wanted to add this photo next to that photo. But I can't find it. So I'll "park" this photo here for now.]

Mike Breski posted
Lake front, Chicago, Illinois, circa 1893.
Paul commented on his posting
Here's the view from the other direction...

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.

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

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

John Sniffen posted
Undated photo of tidy steam-powered Illinois Central commuter train speeding somewhere—being Friday afternoon, I’m hoping it was outbound. Have a good weekend!
University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf2-04265, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
Mitch Markovitz Near the Douglas Memorial.
David Daruszka commented on Johns post
The Forney locomotives the IC used ran out boiler first and ran in tender first. Rather than turning the locomotive they just ran around the consist for the return trip. Some were built by Rogers, others were freight units rebuilt into a Forney configuration by the IC shops.

JoAnne Gazarek Bloom posted, from Illinois Central RR files
1865 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 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 Petraitis Myrick's shown at 30th St
Susan O'Connor Widow Watson's tavern, marks the beginnings of Hyde Park.

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