Monday, May 25, 2020

McCormick Blvd., Gas Manufacturing and Gasometer near O'Brien WRP

(Satellite, are they farming the brownland?)

MWRD posted
A northward view of two police officers on McCormick Blvd. between Howard St. and Oakton St. in Skokie on May 4, 1928. This location is directly east of the MWRD's O'Brien Water Reclamation Plant (formerly North Side), which was nearly completed at the time of the photo. The viaduct in the background, which is no longer there, was a part of the Mayfair Branch of the Chicago & North Western Railway which passed through what is now the Skokie North Shore Channel Park. The viaduct above the officers was a part of the North Shore Electric Line Skokie Valley Branch and is now used by the CTA Yellow Line. The large building in the background was a manufactured gas plant for the Public Service Company of Northern Illinois.

This photo caught the gas holder for the gas plant.
MWRD posted
A view of McCormick Boulevard looking south from Howard Street in Skokie, Illinois, on May 12, 1926. The O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant (originally called North Side) was under construction nearby on Howard Street and would go into service in 1928.

The following map of the Weber Branch shows the gas manufacturing plant was on the southwest corner of Oakton Street and McCormick Boulevard.
David Daruszka commented on Brian's post
The Weber Branch derived its name from Barney F. Weber who owned a brickyard. He founded the Chicago & West Ridge Railroad, that consisted of track but no rolling stock. It was operated under agreement by the C&NW, but was not part of the Mayfair Cutoff. It connected with the C&NW at Weber Yard. So Mr. Weber's name somehow become associated with the yard and the branch line. Information from the Rogers Park Historical Society newsletter "The Historian".

In the following 1938 aerial, I include the gas holder shown on the above map near the lower-right corner, a gas holder I noticed in the upper-right corner, the gas plant and the O'Brien WRP (Water Reclamation Plant).
1938 Aerial Photo from ILAP

Zoomed in on the gas manufacturing plant.

The C&NW bridge still exists.

1928 Evanston Quadrangle @ 1:24,000
Chicago obviously zoned land by the railroad for industrial use, which was more filled in by 1953.
1953 Evanston Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

MWRD posted on Nov 4, 2022
Construction of McCormick Boulevard on July 4, 1925. The MWRD completed construction of McCormick Boulevard (originally McCormick Road) in 1926.

MWRD posted
Excavation for a portion of McCormick Boulevard near the construction site of the Chicago & North Western Railroad viaduct between Oakton Street and Howard Street in Skokie, Illinois, on January 16, 1926.
MWRD posted on Feb 12, 2023

MWRD posted on Feb 3, 2023
A view to the northwest showing workers and paving equipment during construction of McCormick Boulevard between Howard and Oakton Streets in Skokie, Illinois, on September 7, 1926. 

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