Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Indiana Avenue "L" Transfer Station


I normally don't do "L" stations, but Indiana Avenue was no ordinary station. It used to be the origin of the Stockyards (to the West) and Kenwood (to the East) Branches. The following photo looks East along the Kenwood Branch.
Mike Tuggle posted
CTA 385 is at the Indiana Avenue station in July 1948, signed as a Wilson Avenue local via the elevated instead of the State Street subway, which opened in 1943.
The following year, the CTA introduced A/B “skip stop” service to North-South and the Kenwood and Stockyards ranches became shuttles.
Mike McDermott: I think the church in the distance is the Blackwell Memorial AME Zion Church still standing at the SW corner of Oakwood Blvd and Langley. The pointy top of the steeple has changed, but otherwise the profile is the same.

Paul Webb shared

Ron Murnieks commented on Mike's post
So this is looking east?

Dennis DeBruler commented on Ron's comment
Yes. You can see the "wiggle" in the Kenwood Branch in this 1938 aerial photo. As your map shows, the Stockyards Branch left this station to the West.

I spent some time trying to find a link for the source of Mike's photo. I could not find that photo. But I did find a photo looking west along the Stockyard Branch: search for "running parallel" in part three. And a photo looking east after the Kenwood Branch was converted to a shuttle: search for "#810" in mystery photos.

In the background of Mike's photo we can see some tracks north of the Kenword Branch that are weedy. That would have been the Chicago Junction. Overpasses still exist over Federal, Dearborn (both tracks), Michigan (both tracks), Prairie and Calumet. Instead of having weeds, the tracks now have trees.
While I was studying a satellite image, I noticed that there is still evidence of the elevated industrial spur from the Chicago Junction that we can see in the 1938 aerial. From comments by  Andre Kristopans and Bob Lalich on part three, I learned that this spur served a Ford assembly plant at 3915 S. Wabash. Bob states that the Wabash plant opened in 1914 and that it was replaced by the assembly plant on Torrence Ave, which opened in 1924.

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