Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The intersection of South Archer and Cicero Avenues. A historic location near Chicago's Midway Airport. June 2008.
I took this photo after work one afternoon during rush hour, in June of 2008. We are looking at Brandy's Restaurant on the southwest corner of Archer and Cicero Avenues near Chicago Midway Airport. Most of todays Garfield Rudge neighborhood residents
aren't really aware of it, but this is a very historic location on Chicago's
Prior to 1934, this was a busy public transit terminal facility. This was the site
of the turn around loop for electric lightweight interurban trolley cars from the
Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway. This was also the west terminal for the
Chicago Surface Lines ( Pre CTA ) Route # 62 Archer / Cicero Avenue electric
streetcar line. The Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway, travelled southwest from
here along South Archer Avenue, and stopped in the outlying towns of Summit,Justice,
Willow Springs, Lemont, Lockport, and Joliet Illinois. In the center of the east terminal at Archer and Cicero Avenues, was a small wooden train station.
The Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway also had a branch that turned north,west
of South Harlem Avenue that served the towns of Lyons and Mc Cook Illinois.
The Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway was hard hit economically by the
Great Depression during the 1930's, and was abandoned due to bankruptcy
in the year of 1934.
The Chicago Transit Authority was formed in November of 1947, and discontinued
electric streetcar operations on Archer Avenue in 1948. A new bus turn around
loop ( Out of view to the left.) replaced the old streetcar terminal.
I seen this area in person for the first time during the late 1960's. I recall
that during the 1960's and early 1970's, this was the site of an old 1950's era
Drive In Hamburger Restaurant known as "Gossage's Grill". Gossage's Grill, had
a tall sloped roof and ceiling with Flourescent light fixtures, tall windows,
Stainless steel window counters with stools, and some of the best hot dogs
and french fries on Chicago's southwest side. ( The fries were home cut.)
Gossages Grill went out of business in 1975, and was replaced by the restaurant
building seen here in the photograph. The new restaurant was originally known as
"The Golden Century". During the 1980's, it became todays "Brandy's".
My family used to eat at Gossage's Grill and the Golden Century back then.