Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Grand Trunk Western railroad Elsdon Depot on 51st Street. October 1983.

This is a last look photograph I took in October 1983, of the GTW Elsdon Depot in Chicago Illinois on west 51st Street. This beautiful wooden victorian era 2 story train station was built in 1888. I had attended nearby Curie High School just 5 blocks west of here from 1977 to 1981, and frequently hung out at Elsdon Yard after school. It was an old fashioned railfan paradise from the steam era, with many pleasant surprises to be seen. Although no longer used for passenger service, the depot was a yard office and crew headquarters. The yards dispatcher worked in the old station building as well. It was definately a much simpler time back then. The GTW crews were friendly and the Atmosphere was relaxed. They said that I could go ahead and take My photographs, but "Please" be careful.
This lovely old train station was in its last week of operation. In November, it was "Demolished".
Elsdon Yard and station was a wonderful place, and I miss it to this day. Some of the former GTW Elsdon Yard property has since been redeveloped into other Real Estate uses.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Wasn't this next to or very close to the old Baca's Cook Shop? At any rate, I remember this building well! I used to ride my bike past it when I was young.

Great picture!

Tom

Eddie said...

Hi Tom.
Yes! The old GTW Elsdon depot was indeed located next to Baca's Cook Shop on west 51st Street. The depot was on the east side of Baca's. Baca's was a bar and grill, as well as a transient motel for Railroad crew members. This photograph is looking west on 51st Street approximately 2 blocks east of Lawndale Avenue. This neighborhood Community was known as "Elsdon".

Thank You.
Eddie.

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tlee169 said...

In the 1960's I would sometimes bring the Willow Springs "Turn" auto parts from Corwith to GTW. The move often would be delayed for the GTW passenger train passing through about 7:15 AM, The GTW trainmaster wearing a black 3 piece suit would walk out that door, pull out his pocket watch, and highball the engineer who would wind it up and accelerate through the banked curve towards downtown Chicago.

Eddie said...

Hi tlee!
Thank You for this important piece of information. This photo of the old Elsdon depot, prior to it's 1983 demolition a month later, is proboubly My most rarest Chicago railroad photograph to date.

I would appreciate any information of this place , or of any of the Chicago railroad subjects I have posted.

Thank You.
Eddie.