Thursday, February 08, 2007

GTW Elsdon depot on w 51st Street. Chicago Illinois USA. August 1983.

Seen here on the left, is the old Grand Trunk Western Railroad's Elsdon depot on west 51st Street. Immediately adjacent to the depot on the right was a bar and grill with modest sleep over accomodations for transient railroad workers, called "Baca's Cook Shop". I passed through this area in late January of 2007, and had seen that Baca's Cook Shop had too been demolished some time ago. This scene is now a vacant lot slated for redevelopment soon. They are building housing across the street where the old Grocerland Foods
warehouse used to be. The lot where the old Elsdon depot, wich was demolished in November of 1983, and Baca's Cook Shop site, has a bilboard advertising brand new housing coming to this particulair site in the near future.

4 comments:

lapstrake said...

I remember Baca's well. Not sure if I'd ever want to eat there, but it brings back memories of riding my bike around there as a kid.

anthony c said...

There's that great bench where I and so many others passed the time watching trains. I used to drop my bike in front of that bench and sit there for hours. I remember the first couple times I gathered up my courage to actually step inside the station for a drink of water from the fountain, mostly just to catch a glimpse of what went on in there! I always thought someone would yell at me to get out, but of course no one ever did.

As for Baca's, that place always looked just a bit too rough for me as I got older and had the chance to go in there. But as a kid, maybe in '69 or '70, I remember standing inside that place with my mom and some other kids and their parents well into a summer evening waiting for a rumored steam engine to go through. We all eventually abandoned the wait without seeing the train. Must've been a fan trip that got delayed or something.

Eddie said...

I actually used to sit on that bench in warmer weather occasionally, from 1978 to 1981.
I bough candy and soda from the vending machines inside the depot.
The crews were actually very nice to Me, and I respected them by staying out of their way and being careful while on GTW property.

I was only in Baca's once...to use the mens room. The inside of that place was so dimly lit, it was like being in a mine. I was squinting terribly in the bright afternoon sun when I had got out of there. It was a seedy looking sort of tavern inside.

Eddie.

Stanley said...

Eddie, you have alot of great pictures I remember a GT caboose(EV) that was abandoned that sat across from the Elston depot long after it was tore down.It was by the tower and next to a couple of white GTW buildings that remained long after the roundhouse was gone.Thank you.