Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beneath the Windy City ...

The Chicago subways were mostly built in the 1940s and 1950s, long after their New York counterpart.

The architecture of most sections of the Chicago subways can best be described as Streamline Moderne, with emphasis on curves, arches, and horizontal lines, and some Art Deco influences, with more angular geometric shapes and vertical lines.

Late Art Deco influences of the Chicago Avenue stairway.

(From a distance, this looks almost like a performance graph trending downward!) :)

One of the remaining vintage station signs, showing the Streamline Moderne styling.

So, uh, where are we?

Actually, we're under the "triangle" of Halsted Street, North Avenue, and the diagonal Clybourn Avenue, northwest of the infamous and mostly-defunct Cabrini-Green project.)

Light at the end of the tunnel! The light is actually shining through the tunnel portal as the track rises upward out of the tunnel toward the U of I - Halsted elevated station.

An inbound Blue Line train leaves the LaSalle St. Station, one of the deepest stations in Chicago, and prepares to turn into the Dearborn St. Subway on its route to O'Hare Airport.

The Red Line stations from Lake, southbound to Jackson, are actually one big long continuous station with one very long platform, making up the longest subway platform in the world!

Trains stop at the Lake, Washington, Monroe, and Jackson sections.

Tunnel under Jackson Blvd. between the Dearborn and State subway lines.

(See the guy in the yellow vest? ... Hold that thought ...)

This is the Logan Square Station, ca. 1970. This is one of two stations in the Kimball Avenue Subway, the last major underground section to be constructed.

But anyway ...

It's not illegal to take noncommercial photographs of the Chicago subway and El. system. It's not even against CTA regulations. CTA expressly permits it. If you need a reference, it's outlined in Rail Service Bulletin R146-03.

Shortly after I took the above photo, the gentleman in the yellow vest approached me. He was obviously not a security officer or a station agent, but some kind of a maintenance worker. He did not identify himself to me. He asked if I worked for the CTA. I said I did not. He then told me that it was "illegal" to take photographs in the subway. I knew it was not, but I didn't feel like educating him, so I smiled sweetly, feigned an apology, capped the lens, and moved on ... to another station and resumed shooting. :)

An omen of things to come with The Bean, perhaps?

Oh well ...

Think Pink! :)

If you would like to see more visuals of the Chicago subway and El system, an excellent collection is on line at
, which is the Chicago section of nycsubway.org. I do have several more sprinkled about that site in various sections. Those who know my full name will know the ones to look for. :)