There used to be a stub terminal on the north side L line running over what was then North Water Street, straight east from the Merchandise Mart station to Clark Street. After the terminal was taken out of service in 1949, the track and station were maintained for lay-ups and storage until 1963. But when the Merchandise Mart station needed to be extended in 1952, they built a rather unique movable platform across the tracks that could be pulled up whenever they needed to shuttle trains from the lay-up tracks into operation.
This movable platform exists as only a distant memory for me; as a child growing up in Albany Park, my mother forgot to change trains at the Merchandise Mart, the platform was raised and we were briefly trapped at the old terminal on Clark. I would kill (so to speak) for any leads to photographs of the terminal and, even more so, that movable platform. I've checked out chicago-l.org, the ultimate source for all things L-related, but they have nothing along these lines.
If Mr. Garfield can't find an image of it, the chances of my finding it seem rather unlikely. That said, I'll ask around and keep an eye out for it.
I would like to mention - if you're looking to find photos and info about the built environment and civic functions from 1910s on, a great place to dig is the Chicago documents section at UIC's Daley Library, 3rd floor. You'll probably find me there, perusing the Joint Capital Improvements.
It's the terminal, but not the moveable bridge from Merchandise Mart that blocked the stub tracks that went to the terminal. I tend to agree with Serhii, if Graham doesn't have a photo, it probably doesn't exist. But who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky! Thanks!
While researching municipal parking garages, I came across a photo of the garage at 320 N. LaSalle with the North Water Terminal behind it. Only could have been taken in a short period of time - the garage was built in 1955 and the station demolished in 1962. No pics of the movable platform at Merch Mart though...
Pictures of the movable platform do exist--I've seen them. There's at least one in existence of the platform deployed and then one of it retracted. Try the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society--does anybody here have their email address?
There was one column footing for the old North Water Stub in place for years, visible from the northbound Mart platform down in what had become an alley. However, with the recent highrise construction where once had been a parking garage, it may have finally gone the way of the rest of the structure.
> ...they built a rather
> unique movable platform across the tracks that
> could be pulled up whenever they needed to shuttle
> trains from the lay-up tracks into operation...
> ...I would kill (so to speak) for any leads to
> photographs of the terminal and, even more so,
> that movable platform...
There are a few pics of the train platform here (http://northshoreline.com/merchmart.html), but I still can't find the movable platform. Hope it helps anyway.
i'm glad to read the north water branch wasn't torn down until '62-'63 because in the early '60s I remember seeing it and wondering about it. now I know I wasn't imagining things. of course the marina towers were erected then and my view was it was the construction of those towers that played a role in dismantling the north branch, though the tracks apparently ended @ clark if that is correct (short of marina by a block). when the CTA took over late '40s their austere policies dictated any number of rapid transit line/track/station discontinuances & demolitions, all of which demonstrated absolutely no practical foresight whatsoever, modern restoration being impossible