Re: Chicago "L" line to Brookfield Zoo?
Date: October 02, 2012 12:27AM
No Richard, there was an actual ground level CTA "El" line, basically an extention of the current Pink Line that runs out to 54th Ave. & Cermak Rd., which ran all the way out to Oak Park Ave. (6800 West). The line ran along Cermak Rd., just a few feet north of the street, until it was dismantled in 1951. Look at this google map to get a better idea.
Look just north of Cermak Rd. at Oak Park Ave. and you will see a street that google maps is calling "21st Place," well it isn't called 21st Place, the City of Berwyn officially calls it "Vacin Fairway" (named after a previous mayor) but everyone calls it the "El Strip." It's the pathway that the El ran from 5400 West all the way to 6800 West. The Town of Cicero and City of Berwyn now use it for parking for businesses along Cermak Rd. Here is a photo from I believe the 1930s showing the El platform and building at Oak Park Ave. The apartment building seen in the background is still there and can be seen in the google maps link of "21st Place" & Oak Park Ave.
Just to add a but more history, there was a "rumor" in the neighborhood after the CTA discontinued service in part of Cicero and in Berwyn in 1951. It was said that the CTA, which owned the land, was going to build government subsidized housing, a.k.a. housing projects, on the land which ENRAGED local residents. If anyone here knows the histories of Cicero and Berwyn then they know that the neighborhoods were Eastern European strongholds that weren't to keen on the idea of a "segregated neighborhood." I don't know the "official" version of how this was resolved, but I do know that the two towns gained control of the land.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2012 12:38AM by Berwyn Frank.