Got another question for FCF
At the s/w corner of Narragansett ave. and School st. there stands a very old and very interesting building that i have passed many many times in my life. It has what seems may have been a loading area of some kind with cemented steps on either side facing each other with an interesting brickwork facade and a huge doorway at the front end. An arched doorway is on the School st side as well. Ive always wondered what were the origins of this defunct business/company.Possibly a city owned building as well. It seems to be quiet and unused these days. There are no obvious signs or markings to suggest what it may have been used for in its heyday . When i viewed it at Google map and also at Historic Aerial I could see that the building also has an atrium of some sort at the center. Historic Aerial shows that it has been there since as early as 1938. Check it out on Google. Anyone know of its history????
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2010 12:57PM by Artista.
The building seems to belong to Commonwealth Edison, not sure what it is used for.
built in 1938. more info here:
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2010 05:52PM by 222psm.
Hi 222 , great links, Thanks. I was out there today and drove around and thru the alley. Its obvious that the main entrance was actually on the School st side. In fact the address is at the arched doorway 6405 w School st. The architecture is fantastic to see. Nothing really ornate but very old Chicago traditional. on the alley side there is a door which has posted on it the address as well as "Bus shelter area 583" "in case of emergency call C.T.A. control" Is it possible that this was earlier used by CTA and then ComED? I did see at one of the links that you had provided that ComED currently pays taxes for that site. The building has 3 docking areas one of which has a huge I-beam sticking out up above. Maybe originally a bus repair station of old?
A bus shelter? wow I'd never guessed that, it looks like you can only fit one or two buses max, at lest from Google maps aerial. That is a cool looking building. I did follow the old railroad from were it splits off the main line and it goes right up to where the old Dunning Institute was. it looks like they have built houses over some parts of the old right-of-way.
Now that I think of it, could this place have been used to make bus shelters, like the kind you stand in while waiting for the bus? It just seems to small for a bus repair station. Then sold off to ComEd?
well the plot thickens seem like the back middle part still belongs to the CTA
Maybe a bus shelter storage area?
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2010 06:00PM by 222psm.
"could this place have been used to make bus shelters, like the kind you stand in while waiting for the bus?"~
thats a very logical assumption 222.. Possibly when CTA still owned it they did as you suggested and then sold it off to ComEd. Cant wait to see what the answer is. I wasnt thinking of 'bus shelter' in those terms lol.
actually it looks like the back half on the school st side was added some time after 1951. if it was some sort of joint thing with ComEd and CTA, perhaps it was something to do with electric streetcars at the time?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2010 07:48PM by crowamonghens.
Hi Crow' the ComEd/CTA service shop for the electric streetcars is an excellent possibility. 222 , i have tried to check the address 6405 w School st. at the Newschicago site but to no avail. Could you give it a shot? Is it possible that that address is now defunct? One more thing, where exactly do you see the old tracks in re to the Dunning site?
The address on School St must be defunct, it will not come up on the Newschicago site. But crowamonghens is right the back half on School was added after 1951 and the back half on the other side was added after 2002
If you go to google maps aerial view you can follow it. North where it comes off the main line past the Brickyard, past School St, thought Mt Olive cemetery right to where the Dunning site was. If you notice School St is cut off where the tracks once ran. If you flip from map view to aerial view you can see parts of the track and the houses they have built over the right of way near School St.
Sorry, I know the shot is small but if you go to google maps on your computer, you can see what I'm talking about.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2010 03:06PM by 222psm.
Oh now i see it 222 I am familiar with those tracks nearer to where i live (the Brickyard area/Galewood) Didn't realize it to be the same. It also goes right past where the old calibration tower use to be. I miss that monstrosity.
> Oh now i see it 222 I am familiar with those
> tracks nearer to where i live (the Brickyard
> area/Galewood) Didn't realize it to be the same.
> It also goes right past where the old calibration
> tower use to be. I miss that monstrosity.
A fellow member user name "shekaago" has confirmed that the tracks ran to the Dunning site in your post on Montrose and Narragansett.
yes I remember the tower, I was saddened to learn it's gone.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2010 04:00PM by 222psm.
A little further research verifies that the building IS indeed also a CTA property. There is a map on the newschicago site that shows the main building on School St as the Com Ed substation and the middle section belongs to the CTA. I did an address range search and then clicked on the pink and white square on the map to get the correct PIN numbers and addresses which led me to the picture of the property. The CTA address is listed as 3254 N Narragansett and there is a picture on the Cook County Assessor site.
Though I still can't find out what the building is actually used for!
those railroad tracks psm and artista were talking about were INDEED the "Crazy Train" tracks! old Blanchard's maps from the 1800s to the 20's i.d. them as the three-mile spur off the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul. before that, commuters would have to walk the stretch up to the Dunning site.
> those railroad tracks psm and artista were talking
> about were INDEED the "Crazy Train" tracks! old
> Blanchard's maps from the 1800s to the 20's i.d.
> them as the three-mile spur off the Chicago,
> Milwaukee & St. Paul. before that, commuters would
> have to walk the stretch up to the Dunning site.
It seems from google maps that they now end at Diversey Ave, north of there they have built houses. But you can still make out the right of way in google satellite view. Its cool that the tracks have been there since 1882, and have partly survived this long. I know they run Metra and freight on the main this spur comes off of.
Does any one know who owns the freight tracks, is it Canadian Pacific?
Artista, you mentioned a beam coming out of one of the doors? That leads me to believe that whatever the building is/was used for had to feature some sort of heavy-lift overhead hoist (perhaps to move big electrical components on or off of trucks).
I always thought this building was a ComEd substation but had no idea about the CTA connection! Thanks to all of you for the research on this building that is practically in my backyard. And, yes, those tracks were the "crazy train" tracks. I also believe they used those tracks to service the cemeteries that lie between Addison and Irving and Oak Park and Narragansett. I always hated to tell people I lived in the "Dunning" neighborhood because of the bad connotations associated with the Dunning Site. But, actually, technically I can say I live in Schorsch Village. :-)
Vern H Wrote:
> Those tracks also serviced the former Kimball
> Candy co on Belmont. I worked there for awhile in
> the 70's. They shipped sugar and corn syrup via
> those tracks.
That's cool to know Vern, slowly the parts of the puzzle are falling in place.
Hey 222, Next week i shall be purchasing a new digital camera. I plan to take good photos of these areas we covered and post them here. For instance this ComEd building. If there are any sites in particular that you would like to see shot (train lines etc) let me know. Id be glad to do so.
Vern H. -- I had posted a question about the Kimball Candy Co. on another forum here on Forgotten Chicago (under Questions and Answers). I remember going there on Halloween when I was very young. There are only a few references to the company on the net. I'd love to learn more about it!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2010 06:29PM by shekaago.
> Hey 222, Next week i shall be purchasing a new
> digital camera. I plan to take good photos of
> these areas we covered and post them here. For
> instance this ComEd building. If there are any
> sites in particular that you would like to see
> shot (train lines etc) let me know. Id be glad to
> do so.
Thanks Artista if you can get a few shots of the "crazy train" tracks. only if it's not too far out of your way.
No not at all 222, I live near the tracks at Grand ave (where the calibration tower was) in the Galewood neighborhood. Ill follow it up to the Dunning area. Of course it isn't a complete track anymore. Ill do what i can. Sometime in the Spring of course.