Welcome to my rail fan page!
Here you'll find information and pictures of railroad related items from the Chicagoland area, Wisconsin and Indiana.
Enjoy your stay.
I believe we're looking at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Jackson in your photo. That white terra cotta building in the background is the famous Railway Exchange Building, known by most people as having the huge, illuminated "Santa Fe" sign on the roof that's easily seen from Lake Shore Drive or Lake Michigan.I used to visit that building daily in the early-mid 1980s as part of my job, and several floors were entirely occupied by the Santa Fe. Some floors had been relatively "modernized" (I use the term lightly), like the Law Dept. floor and the executive offices floor, but other floors looked like something from the past, with frosted glass in the doors that lined the old hallways. Each door had the department names stencilled on them, just like offices of old. There were also pnuematic tubes running overhead for message cylinders between departments, although I don't know if the tubes were still in use at that time.There was even a small, still-active office of the Chicago and Western Indiana, owner of the long-closed and demolished Dearborn Station! I couldn't believe it. I guess the company still owned some track or at least real estate. As I understand the history of the building, numerous major railroads had offices there in the past.Complete historic restoration of the building began in the mid-1980s and all the Santa Fe departments have now long since moved out of Chicago, although the signage on the roof remains because of the historical aspect.And perhaps most famously, in the top-floor offices with the huge round windows (not quite visible in your shot), were the offices of architect Daniel Burnham, who created his famous Plan of Chicago there in 1909. He also designed the building. Alas, I was never able to get into that space, unfortunately!
Hi Anthony!Wow! You blew Me away on this one with all of that really wonderful historical input. I strongly appreciate the information that people like You, and other readers here send Me occasionally.Your's trully here can learn a lot by reading these reference E-Mails.Thanks.Eddie K.
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