February 10, 2008
Wilson Yard, 1961
My guess is that this picture was taken from a top floor in the Uptown Bank Building, looking south toward Wilson Yard. You can spot the Broadway Building in the foreground, the distinctive tower of St. Mary's Church at the top of the photo, and the McJunkin Building just below that. It is one of the many fabulous photos that appear in The Chicago "L" by Greg Borzo.
Caption reads: "In 1908, the 'L' extended service to Howard and beyond to Evanston at ground level. In 1914-1922, it elevated the track from Wilson to Howard on an embankment rather than a steel structure. This was done to support the weight of freight cars that the 'L' handled from 1920 to 1973 between Church Street in Evanston and Irving Park Road in Chicago. A huge yard was built at Wilson in 1900. Much later, a massive four-track repair and maintennce building, seen in the center background of the view south in 1961, was added. A continuous four-track main line had just been completed here, replacing a two-track bottleneck."
Greg Borzo is a co-author of The Windies' City: Chicago's Historical Hidden Treasures.
My birthday is coming up on Thursday (hint-hint), and this would make a terrific addition to my book collection. :-)