The decade between 1950 and 1960 was one of tremendous change for the West Side of Chicago. The Garfield “L” provided the principal rapid transit service with trains connecting the Loop with Oak Park and as far out as Westchester. The interurban trains of the Chicago Aurora and Elgin used the Garfield “L” tracks to bring thousands of west suburban commuters and shoppers into downtown Chicago.
Yet by 1960 all of this was gone and the area had been totally transformed. A new limited-access superhighway—the Congress Expressway—had been built. Thousands of businesses and homes were demolished in its construction and by the time of its completion, the CA&E had ended operation, a victim of construction priorities and politics. And the Garfield “L” itself had been replaced by a new concept in public transportation—a rapid transit line operating in the median strip of the new expressway.
Historian and CERA member David Wilson will retell in detail the story of the events that, for better or worse, changed the landscape of Chicago’s West Side. Be sure to join us!
NOTICE to CERA Members: Beginning in January 2019, anyone attending CERA monthly programs must be a paid member of CERA for 2019. Members will show their cards at the door or their names can be checked in the membership database. Paid CERA members may bring a guest. Memberships will be sold at the door.
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Central Electric Railfans' Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 503, Chicago, IL 60690