Monday, May 4, 2015
Broadway Going Retro -- All Lanes Closed This Weekend
The picture at the top was taken around 1907-1908, as the tracks for the Northwestern Elevated were constructed over Broadway. (Thanks to JJ Sedelmaier, who submitted it to the Chicago L Facebook page.) That's how long the traffic lanes on Broadway have been divided by support pillars and and darkened by the tracks' shadows. Another parallel set of tracks was later constructed for the now-defunct North Shore line.
What's cool about this photo is that you can still see some existing buildings on the 4600 block of Broadway -- to the left, those which now house 42 grams and Spoil Me Salon and Spa, and to the right, the ones around Gigio's. The Uptown Broadway Building and Bridgeview Bank were still a couple decades away from being built when it was taken. Sheridan Trust and Savings was still located at 4611 North Broadway, and wouldn't move to what we now think of as the former Borders building for a couple years. Even the Wilson Station as we know it hadn't been built yet; it was still the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Stohr Arcade.
The second photo is the same view, taken yesterday. So much has changed, but those annoying, street-obstructing tracks and support pillars are still with us.
One thing you can see in the current-day photo is the concrete overpass for the second set of tracks. CTA is demolishing more of that every day. Soon the scene will look even more like it did in 1907-08, as it vanishes from sight. To that end, Broadway will be closed this weekend, beginning at 9pm Friday, with demolition going on round-the-clock until 4am Monday, or until they finish. Details about rerouting as we receive it.