Thursday, February 28, 2019

C&E: South of C&E Junction to Kinzie Street

C&E overview;  Chicago Switching's Kingsbury Branch Photo Gallery

After this overview map to provide context, I start with a collection of photos taken while the lower dotted line was still in service. Then I do a detailed analysis of how the C&E ran from North Avenue to the Milwaukee tracks on the west side of the Chicago River.

These photos are ordered from north to south.

Lou Gerard posted
The Conductor throws the switch so the Division St. job on Kingsbury St. in Chicago can go in a get a car out of the Midwest Zinc siding with caboose #5. October 1989.

Lou Gerard posted two photos with the comment: "SOO LINE GP9 2550 on Kingsbury south of North Ave. in 1996. A large Whole Foods Market now occupies the area to the left."

Dennis DeBruler commented on Lou's post
The rail is still exposed north of North Ave. Since the last customer on Goose Island quit using the rail and since General Iron uses barges, I don't think there are any customers left on any of the remnants of the Chicago & Evanston. I went out on about the last warmish weekend in December (2015) to see what rails were left.
The tracks did stop on the north side of North Ave.
20151212 7498
Several more photos of switching Midwest Zinc,    Flickr1,    Flickr2

John David Larson posted
A Soo Line switcher "street running" in Chicago south of North Avenue in 1999. Even though Chicago is still the nation's railroad capitol actual freight service in the city like this had all but vanished by this date - and might be completely gone by now.
[The last remnant of the C&E, on Goose Island, was abandoned in Feb 2018.]

Mark Llanuza posted   (source)
Its 1987 Milwaukee Rd Goose Island branch Milwaukee Rd MP-15 is at Halstead and Division street.
Brandon McShane The old Ogden Avenue viaduct passing overhead.
Michael Plumeri Looking East. It's all gone now. Odgen ave bridge was a great short cut from North ave to the Chicago Stadium.
Tom Schultz derailments in the city really sucked also had a few doors fall off in the Chicago put traffic to a stop Truck driver knew how to drive through front yards and side walks to get to them then winch them up and get to nearest dumpster that's where they ended up. Derailments meant we were going to have someones electric shut off for safety reasons.

Mark Llanuza posted
Its 1987 former Milwaukee Rd MP-15 is at Erie st in Chicago IL switching the goose Island branch.

Mark Llanuza posted
Its 1987 Former Milwaukee Rd MP-15 switches at Wards near Erie street in Chicago IL .This was the Milwaukee Rd Goose Island branch.

John J Kulidas posted
Milwaukee Road / Soo Line Kingsbury Branch (C&E South Line) near Superior & Kingsbury Streets, switching cars for Wallace Press (located just the other side of the elevated roadway in the background) in 1986. This picture captures a time where this area of Chicago was starting to go through a transition from industrial to urban gentrification. Photo by John Smatlak.
Michael Mannino: I worked in this neighborhood for four years starting in 1998. All these tracks were gone by then, I think. I also think the cross street is Erie, but I could be wrong again. I do know the viaduct in the background is the Ohio feeder ramp.
Bill Matteson: I worked 10 years at Wallace Press Grand Ave And Kingsbury.
Edward Kwiatkowski shared
Dennis DeBruler commented on Edward's share
I think we are looking between the buildings south of Huron Street and then we are looking along Kingsbury Street. (The hash marks in Larrabee Street is how topo maps indicate street running.)
1972 Chicago Loop Quad @ 24,000

Dennis DeBruler commented on Edward's share
A diagonal building fills the right-of-way (RoW) between Huron and Erie Streets. And there is some extra parking north of Huron.,-87.6422407,253m/data=!3m1!1e3

Dennis DeBruler commented on Edward's share
As indicated by the topo map, the RoW used an easement east of Kingsbury when it got south of Ontario. The National Public Housing Museum and parking spaces now occupy that land. Note that the Ontario Street Lofts building is curved to accommodate the industrial spur shown on the topo map. Wallace Press was in the northwest quadrant of Kingsbury and Grand. I wonder if that is the building now used by the Riverbank Lofts Condo Association.,-87.6404579,247m/data=!3m1!1e3

The first part of the route to the south is easy to trace because it did street running down Kingsbury Street.
.pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report
It then turned south at Larrabee Street.
.pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report

We can not only see diagonal sides on old buildings, we can see that new buildings are built on a diagonal because they were built in the abandoned right-of-way where C&E angled over from Larrabee south of Superior back to Kingsbury south of Erie Street. It again followed Kingsbury until it got south of Grand Avenue where it curved west. The track went over a bridge just north of Kinzie to join Milwaukee's mainline that went south to Union Station.
.pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report

The smoke abatement report omits some of the yard tracks that were south of Grand. This photo shows that Milwaukee occupied most of the land from Grand to Kinzie between Kingsbury and the river.
Copyleft (CC BY-NC-ND): Copelin Commercial Photographers,
"Bridges, viaducts, and underpasses: Ashland Ave. and Belmont Ave., Image 2",
James S. Parker and Chicago Photography (University of Illinois at Chicago)
William Russ posted a different exposure
[The road bridges are Kinzie in the foreground, Grand in the middle and Erie in the left background.]
Paul Petraitis shared
Jeff Bransky commented on William's post
David H. Nelson commented on Paul's share

The East Bank Club was one of the first gentrification conversions of railroad land along the North Branch. When it was built, it had just a blank wall on the river side. It became a textbook example of how not to develop land along the river. I see they have since worked on their river side.
Street View

Where Kingsbury joined Larrabee, the C&E went past the Montgomery Ward Warehouse.
Street View
On the north side of the warehouse, there were industrial spurs that served the warehouse.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP at photo resolution

And this is what the East Bank Club land used to look like.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP at photo resolution

Image 18 via Index via Vol 1 North, 1906 via Chicago

Image 32 via Index via Vol 1 North, 1906 via Chicago

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