Chicago PCC Mystery Photos Answers

#57 - sderailway says, "rt 22 no. 4276 southbound on S. Clark St. @ 16th." (Passing under the St. Charles Air Line.)

#57 – sderailway says, “rt 22 no. 4276 southbound on S. Clark St. @ 16th.” (Passing under the St. Charles Air Line.)

We received several great submissions to our latest “Mystery Photo Contest” featuring Chicago’s PCCs. Here are the answers we received to date.

Looks like we now have locations for all the pictures. We also got the best captions ever from our keen-eyed readers. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Andre Kristopans provided the best overall answers, and is therefore the contest winner. Congratulations, Andre!

Thanks.

-The Editor

PS- As noted below, pictures #28 and 29 were taken in sequence, apparently by the same photographer. But we got them from two different sources.

#56 - sderailway says,

#56 – sderailway says, “a rt 22 Clark-Howard car 4233 heads north near 16th / 15th sts on S Clark St.” (Passing under the St. Charles Air Line.)

George Foelschow says, "Photo #55 I believe the car is on Clark northbound at Diversey Parkway bound either for Broadway or Clark. One hint is the globe on post streetlights on Diversey, denoting a parkway. On the left at Pine Grove is a historic apartment building, notable for its interior court with an open cage elevator."

George Foelschow says, “Photo #55 I believe the car is on Clark northbound at Diversey Parkway bound either for Broadway or Clark. One hint is the globe on post streetlights on Diversey, denoting a parkway. On the left at Pine Grove is a historic apartment building, notable for its interior court with an open cage elevator.”

Andre Kristopans says,

Andre Kristopans says, “#54 is on Wentworth, probably around 70th or so.”

#53 - Dan Cluley locates this as Clark looking north from Monroe.

#53 – Dan Cluley locates this as Clark looking north from Monroe.

#52 - sderailway writes, "car 7236 will turn north from eastbound on Cermak." Bill Shapotkin adds, "A chartered car, turning from N/B Wentworth into E/B Cermak. View looks S-S/W."

#52 – sderailway writes, “car 7236 will turn north from eastbound on Cermak.” Bill Shapotkin adds, “A chartered car, turning from N/B Wentworth into E/B Cermak. View looks S-S/W.”

#51 - Len Marcus says, "Eastbound on Cermak turning northbound onto Clark Street." Bill Shapotkin: "A N/B car, turning from W/B Cermak into N/B Clark. View looks West. (By the way -- that bridge on the NYC/ROCK (now just Metra's Rock Island District) is still standing -- and looking a good as ever."

#51 – Len Marcus says, “Eastbound on Cermak turning northbound onto Clark Street.” Bill Shapotkin: “A N/B car, turning from W/B Cermak into N/B Clark. View looks West. (By the way — that bridge on the NYC/ROCK (now just Metra’s Rock Island District) is still standing — and looking a good as ever.”

Andre Kristopans says,

Andre Kristopans says, “#50 is on 81st between Halsted and Vincennes, the bridges are the BRC and Western Indiana. Rock Island bridge is behind photographer.”

#49 - George Foelschow says, "Orphans 4001 and 7001 in storage at 77th Street."

#49 – George Foelschow says, “Orphans 4001 and 7001 in storage at 77th Street.”

M. E. writes, "Photo #48 was taken very close to where photos #56 and #57 were taken. The view is Clark St. looking north from roughly 1500 South. You can see that Clark St. ascends to meet Roosevelt Rd. The railroad embankment to the left led into LaSalle St. station, at Van Buren and LaSalle. Railroad companies that used this embankment were the New York Central (but not the Big Four and Michigan Central subsidiaries that used the Illinois Central station), Rock Island, and Nickel Plate. At this particular location, the Rock Island stored its commuter cars between morning and evening rush hour. To the right are freight warehouses being served by Lifschultz fast freight. The opposite side of the freight houses fronted the tracks that led to Dearborn Station at Polk and Dearborn. Those companies included Chicago and Western Indiana; Chicago and Eastern Illinois; Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville, a.k.a. Monon; Wabash; Erie; and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe." Bill Shapotkin says, "looking N/B on Clark St JUST NORTH of the C&WI overcrossing. To the left is the NYC/ROCK. You certainly would not recognize this location today!"

M. E. writes, “Photo #48 was taken very close to where photos #56 and #57 were taken. The view is Clark St. looking north from roughly 1500 South. You can see that Clark St. ascends to meet Roosevelt Rd. The railroad embankment to the left led into LaSalle St. station, at Van Buren and LaSalle. Railroad companies that used this embankment were the New York Central (but not the Big Four and Michigan Central subsidiaries that used the Illinois Central station), Rock Island, and Nickel Plate. At this particular location, the Rock Island stored its commuter cars between morning and evening rush hour. To the right are freight warehouses being served by Lifschultz fast freight. The opposite side of the freight houses fronted the tracks that led to Dearborn Station at Polk and Dearborn. Those companies included Chicago and Western Indiana; Chicago and Eastern Illinois; Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville, a.k.a. Monon; Wabash; Erie; and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe.” Bill Shapotkin says, “looking N/B on Clark St JUST NORTH of the C&WI overcrossing. To the left is the NYC/ROCK. You certainly would not recognize this location today!”

A contemporary view of the same area as #48, looking north from approximately 1500 S. Clark.

A contemporary view of the same area as #48, looking north from approximately 1500 S. Clark.

Andre Kristopans says,

Andre Kristopans says, “#47 is at 119th and Halsted. Car just made right turn off Halsted onto 119th and is crossing PRR tracks.”

#46 - Dave in NJ says, "southbound crossing the future congress expressway, with MET L Halsted station in the backround." Bill Shapotkin: "a S/B Halsted car (with a #42 sign?), has just x/o under the Garfield Park 'L' and is on the bridge over the abuilding Congress Expressway. View looks north."

#46 – Dave in NJ says, “southbound crossing the future congress expressway, with MET L Halsted station in the backround.” Bill Shapotkin: “a S/B Halsted car (with a #42 sign?), has just x/o under the Garfield Park ‘L’ and is on the bridge over the abuilding Congress Expressway. View looks north.”

#45 - Len Marcus says, "Looking south on Clark Street, at Southport, northbound Green Hornet and end of the line (route 9 Ashland)." Bill Wasik adds, "Clark & Southport – View south/southwest. The big Pabst roof neon was on top of a Pabst distributorship that occupied most of this triangular block. Of course, it was only a few blocks north of Wrigley Field, where Pabst had an exclusive with the Cubs for many years. Beer hobbyists may note not only the Pabst display, but also the nearly-unreadable red sign on an apartment building on Southport, visible through tree branches at the far right of the photo. This was a sign for Fox DeLuxe, but not the usual circa 1940 “Just Taste It!” signage that still can be seen on several buildings around town, even after 75 years. Instead, the Southport sign was perhaps the last of the Fox painted walls that went up at the dawn of Repeal, when the Peter Fox brewery introduced draft beer in a half-gallon bottle. This ad space on Southport wasn’t good, largely hidden from traffic, which may explain why the sign was never painted over. Back in the mid-1960’s, it was still visible-enough for me to make it the subject of a 35mm slide, one I wish I still had. In any case, Fox DeLuxe fans even today can search 4117 N. Southport on Google Maps Street View to see what traces of this rare ad remain visible today." Bill Shapotkin: "Looking S/B at Clark/Southport. PCC at left is a N/B Clark St car -- at right are Ashland Ave cars in Southport."

#45 – Len Marcus says, “Looking south on Clark Street, at Southport, northbound Green Hornet and end of the line (route 9 Ashland).” Bill Wasik adds, “Clark & Southport – View south/southwest. The big Pabst roof neon was on top of a Pabst distributorship that occupied most of this triangular block. Of course, it was only a few blocks north of Wrigley Field, where Pabst had an exclusive with the Cubs for many years.
Beer hobbyists may note not only the Pabst display, but also the nearly-unreadable red sign on an apartment building on Southport, visible through tree branches at the far right of the photo. This was a sign for Fox DeLuxe, but not the usual circa 1940 “Just Taste It!” signage that still can be seen on several buildings around town, even after 75 years. Instead, the Southport sign was perhaps the last of the Fox painted walls that went up at the dawn of Repeal, when the Peter Fox brewery introduced draft beer in a half-gallon bottle.
This ad space on Southport wasn’t good, largely hidden from traffic, which may explain why the sign was never painted over. Back in the mid-1960’s, it was still visible-enough for me to make it the subject of a 35mm slide, one I wish I still had. In any case, Fox DeLuxe fans even today can search 4117 N. Southport on Google Maps Street View to see what traces of this rare ad remain visible today.” Bill Shapotkin: “Looking S/B at Clark/Southport. PCC at left is a N/B Clark St car — at right are Ashland Ave cars in Southport.”

Clark and Southport today. The same view as picture #45.

Clark and Southport today. The same view as picture #45.

M. E. writes, "I am quite surprised that no one identified the location of photo #44. The photographer was on the westbound Englewood L platform at 63rd Place and Halsted, looking north to the heart of Englewood, 63rd and Halsted. The old red car on 63rd St. indicates that this photo was taken before the pre-war PCCs were transferred from Madison to 63rd. When this photo was taken, Englewood was almost certainly the largest commercial district outside the Loop. 63rd and Halsted was the center, but the Halsted business district ran from about 59th to 69th, and the 63rd business district ran from Wentworth west to Ashland. Things that are in this photo: -- The big building on the northeast corner is Sears Roebuck. In the basement was a Hillman's Pure Food grocery store. -- The three-story building on the northwest corner is the Ace department store. As I recall, it was rather dumpy. I distinctly remember all the ceiling fans that provided the only summertime ventilation -- NOT! -- On the southwest corner is S S Kresge, the forerunner of K Mart. Kresge and Woolworth's were 5-and-10-cent (a.k.a. dime) stores. The Kresge store had a doughnut manufacturing line in the windows along 63rd St. They made fresh doughnuts and sold them for 3 cents each. I also remember seeing a lot of store employees, unlike the ensuing K Mart and its ilk. -- See the small newsstand on the southeast corner? I helped an older man sell newspapers there. We sold the morning Tribune and Sun-Times for 4 cents, and the evening Daily News and Herald American for 5 cents. I think the Sunday Sun-Times and Herald American cost 15 cents, and the Trib was 20 cents. The Trib was so much fatter than the other two, it was worth the difference. (The Daily News published its weekend edition on Saturday.) We also sold the Southtown Economist, which today is the Southtown Star. Their printing plant was on Union Ave. (700 West) south of 65th St., not far from 63rd and Halsted. -- North of 63rd along Halsted are two movie theaters. On the east side of Halsted around Englewood Ave. (a.k.a. 62nd Place) is the Ace theater, a small old place. Across the street from the Ace is the Empress, a nicer newer place. Heading east on 63rd from Halsted, there were four more movie theaters. The easternmost was the Southtown Theater, which had a tall spire and an ornate lobby with a pond inhabited by swans. Its parking lot was surrounded by a cement Art Deco-style fence that was about a foot wide and easy to walk atop." Bill Wasik adds, "This appears to be the Christmas shopping season on S. Halsted, going by the display in the Sears/Hillman’s window at the right. If this was taken in 1952, the photo sadly was made only days or weeks before six persons were killed in a fire that destroyed the General Furniture store at 6155 S. Halsted. The huge General Furniture sign can be seen in the distance at the right of this photo." Jeff Wien adds, "Circa 1953, after pre-War PCCs were sent to Cottage Grove and post War PCCs were being sent to SLCC. Red Cars ran the last runs on 63rd Street."

M. E. writes, “I am quite surprised that no one identified the location of photo #44. The photographer was on the westbound Englewood L platform at 63rd Place and Halsted, looking north to the heart of Englewood, 63rd and Halsted. The old red car on 63rd St. indicates that this photo was taken before the pre-war PCCs were transferred from Madison to 63rd.
When this photo was taken, Englewood was almost certainly the largest commercial district outside the Loop. 63rd and Halsted was the center, but the Halsted business district ran from about 59th to 69th, and the 63rd business district ran from Wentworth west to Ashland.
Things that are in this photo:
— The big building on the northeast corner is Sears Roebuck. In the basement was a Hillman’s Pure Food grocery store.
— The three-story building on the northwest corner is the Ace department store. As I recall, it was rather dumpy. I distinctly remember all the ceiling fans that provided the only summertime ventilation — NOT!
— On the southwest corner is S S Kresge, the forerunner of K Mart. Kresge and Woolworth’s were 5-and-10-cent (a.k.a. dime) stores. The Kresge store had a doughnut manufacturing line in the windows along 63rd St. They made fresh doughnuts and sold them for 3 cents each. I also remember seeing a lot of
store employees, unlike the ensuing K Mart and its ilk.
— See the small newsstand on the southeast corner? I helped an older man sell newspapers there. We sold the morning Tribune and Sun-Times for 4 cents, and the evening Daily News and Herald American for 5 cents. I think the Sunday Sun-Times and Herald American cost 15 cents, and the Trib was 20 cents. The Trib was so much fatter than the other two, it was worth the difference. (The Daily News published its weekend edition on Saturday.) We also sold the Southtown
Economist, which today is the Southtown Star. Their printing plant was on Union
Ave. (700 West) south of 65th St., not far from 63rd and Halsted.
— North of 63rd along Halsted are two movie theaters. On the east side of Halsted around Englewood Ave. (a.k.a. 62nd Place) is the Ace theater, a small old place. Across the street from the Ace is the Empress, a nicer newer place. Heading east on 63rd from Halsted, there were four more movie theaters. The easternmost
was the Southtown Theater, which had a tall spire and an ornate lobby with a pond inhabited by swans. Its parking lot was surrounded by a cement Art Deco-style fence that was about a foot wide and easy to walk atop.” Bill Wasik adds, “This appears to be the Christmas shopping season on S. Halsted, going by the display in the Sears/Hillman’s window at the right. If this was taken in 1952, the photo sadly was made only days or weeks before six persons were killed in a fire that destroyed the General Furniture store at 6155 S. Halsted. The huge General Furniture sign can be seen in the distance at the right of this photo.”
Jeff Wien adds, “Circa 1953, after pre-War PCCs were sent to Cottage Grove and post War PCCs were being sent to SLCC. Red Cars ran the last runs on 63rd Street.”

#43 - Len Marcus says, "Westbound on Chicago Avenue turning south onto Halsted Street during Halsted Street reroute for bridge reconstruction on Halsted, north of Chicago Avenue." Bill Wasik adds, "This was a favorite spot for the tin sign brigade, with some rarities on display, especially the one for Nectar Beer." Bill Shapotkin: "A S/B Halsted car turning from W/B Chicago into S/B Halsted. Cars are being detoured due to bridgework on Halsted St. (Approx 40 years later, the Halsted busses would do the same detour for the same work on the same bridge -- damn, some things never change.)"

#43 – Len Marcus says, “Westbound on Chicago Avenue turning south onto Halsted Street during Halsted Street reroute for bridge reconstruction on Halsted, north of Chicago Avenue.” Bill Wasik adds, “This was a favorite spot for the tin sign brigade, with some rarities on display, especially the one for Nectar Beer.” Bill Shapotkin: “A S/B Halsted car turning from W/B Chicago into S/B Halsted. Cars are being detoured due to bridgework on Halsted St. (Approx 40 years later, the Halsted busses would do the same detour for the same work on the same bridge — damn, some things never change.)”

M. E. writes, "Photo #42 has to be on Madison St., east of Canal, facing west. Madison ran along the south side of North Western Station, which is clearly identifiable in the picture." Chuck Amstein adds, "Photo #42 is at Clinton and Madison, looking NNE, facing the SW corner of North Western Station. You can see the trainshed (still there today) to the left, which heads north. The raised portion on the roof of the trainshed in the distance is where Washington crosses under and where streetcars entered the Washington streetcar tunnel. Compare this photo with current streetview images." Bill Shapotkin adds, "car 4018, working MADISON ST TEN CENT SHUTTLE (Hope I got the name right) is N/B in Clinton at Madison. The car will momentarily turn into E/B Madison. The LaSalle (right) stood into the 1970s -- had the best damn apple pie you could eat!"

M. E. writes, “Photo #42 has to be on Madison St., east of Canal, facing west. Madison ran along the south side of North Western Station, which is clearly identifiable in the picture.” Chuck Amstein adds, “Photo #42 is at Clinton and Madison, looking NNE, facing the SW corner of North Western Station. You can see the trainshed (still there today) to the left, which heads north. The raised portion on the roof of the trainshed in the distance is where Washington crosses under and where streetcars entered the Washington streetcar tunnel. Compare this photo with current streetview images.” Bill Shapotkin adds, “car 4018, working MADISON ST TEN CENT SHUTTLE (Hope I got the name right) is N/B in Clinton at Madison. The car will momentarily turn into E/B Madison. The LaSalle (right) stood into the 1970s — had the best damn apple pie you could eat!”

Andre Kristopans says,"#41 took some real figuring. Looking west towards Madison and Fifth. Taken on a Sunday as Fifth is a one-man shuttle car connecting with the main route." Bill Shapotkin got this one right also. Note there is a Kaiser-Frazer dealer at right, Parkside Motors, then located at 2810 W. Madison. In later years, Joseph Colucci, the guy who ran it, also owned the Division Street Russian Baths. Bill Shapotkin adds, "Note the safety island in Madison St (the E/B Madison car is P/U psgrs there). This safety island, which continued in service for the #20 -- Madison bus, remained in-service until approx 1980. (It may have been removed in advance of the cul de sacing of 5th Ave.) Believe this was one of, if not the last streetcar safety island to see continued transit use in the City of Chicago. (When VInce Dawson worked night cars on Madison St, I would ride with him frequently and recall seeing the safety island in use.)"

Andre Kristopans says,”#41 took some real figuring. Looking west towards Madison and Fifth. Taken on a Sunday as Fifth is a one-man shuttle car connecting with the main route.” Bill Shapotkin got this one right also. Note there is a Kaiser-Frazer dealer at right, Parkside Motors, then located at 2810 W. Madison. In later years, Joseph Colucci, the guy who ran it, also owned the Division Street Russian Baths.
Bill Shapotkin adds, “Note the safety island in Madison St (the E/B Madison car is P/U psgrs there). This safety island, which continued in service for the #20 — Madison bus, remained in-service until approx 1980. (It may have been removed in advance of the cul de sacing of 5th Ave.) Believe this was one of, if not the last streetcar safety island to see continued transit use in the City of Chicago. (When VInce Dawson worked night cars on Madison St, I would ride with him frequently and recall seeing the safety island in use.)”

#40 - Jeff Wien says, "Devon Station (Ravenswood and Schreiber)."

#40 – Jeff Wien says, “Devon Station (Ravenswood and Schreiber).”

#39 - sderailway says,

#39 – sderailway says, “4071 passes the Civic Opera Bldg on Madison at N. Wacker, June 1950.”

#38 - Dan Cluley identifies this as Madison looking east at Wacker, during construction of Lower Wacker Drive.

#38 – Dan Cluley identifies this as Madison looking east at Wacker, during construction of Lower Wacker Drive.

#37 - George Foelschow says, "Orphans 4001 and 7001 in storage at 77th Street."

#37 – George Foelschow says, “Orphans 4001 and 7001 in storage at 77th Street.”

#36 - Dan Cluley identifies this as Madison looking west at Wacker, during construction of Lower Wacker Drive.

#36 – Dan Cluley identifies this as Madison looking west at Wacker, during construction of Lower Wacker Drive.

#35 - Len Marcus identifies this as

#35 – Len Marcus identifies this as “State and Wacker Drive, Southbound on State Street.”

#34 - sderailway says,

#34 – sderailway says, “rt 4 car 4015 forms a line-up with three other pre-war PCCs as they wait to turn from Cottage Grove Ave onto E 115th St.”

M. E. writes, "Photo #33 was taken on the southeast corner of 95th St. and the part of Cottage Grove Ave. that goes south from 95th St. (The part that goes north is on the other side of the tracks.) The ad atop the viaduct is for the IC's train to Florida, which Wikipedia reminds me was called the City of Miami. Photo #4 has already been identified as being at the same location." Bill Shapotkin: "A S/B COTTAGE GROVE car turns from E/B 95th into S/B Cottage Grove -- just as the replacement bus still does today! Hey -- about that ad sign for the IC to Florida! View looks west."

M. E. writes, “Photo #33 was taken on the southeast corner of 95th St. and the part of Cottage Grove Ave. that goes south from 95th St. (The part that goes north is on the other side of the tracks.) The ad atop the viaduct is for the IC’s train to Florida, which Wikipedia reminds me was called the City of Miami. Photo #4 has already been identified as being at the same location.” Bill Shapotkin: “A S/B COTTAGE GROVE car turns from E/B 95th into S/B Cottage Grove — just as the replacement bus still does today! Hey — about that ad sign for the IC to Florida! View looks west.”

M. E. writes,

M. E. writes, “Photos #32 and #9, I am guessing, are of the 69th and Ashland barn. Streetcars shown here include the pre-war PCCs assigned to 63rd St., the post-war PCCs assigned to Western Ave., and the old red cars assigned everywhere else.”

M. E. writes, "Photo #31 was taken from the southeast corner of Wabash Ave. and Lake St. At that time, Cottage Grove streetcars went through the Loop northbound on State to Lake, east to Wabash, then south. In this view the streetcar is turning from eastbound Lake to southbound Wabash. On the L structure you can see the State / Lake station." Bill Shapotkin: "A S/B COTTAGE GROVE car turns from E/B Lake into S/B Wabash. View looks west."

M. E. writes, “Photo #31 was taken from the southeast corner of Wabash Ave. and Lake St. At that time, Cottage Grove streetcars went through the Loop northbound on State to Lake, east to Wabash, then south. In this view the streetcar is turning from eastbound Lake to southbound Wabash. On the L structure you can see the State / Lake station.” Bill Shapotkin: “A S/B COTTAGE GROVE car turns from E/B Lake into S/B Wabash. View looks west.”

M. E. writes,

M. E. writes, “Photo #30 is on Cottage Grove Ave. south of 95th St., but I don’t know exactly where. The Illinois Central railroad embankment is behind the trees to the west. Possibly this location is opposite the old Pullman plant and the Florence hotel.”

#29 - Andre Kristopans says,

#29 – Andre Kristopans says, “Cottage Grove at about 96th looking south where PROW started. Note same guy in both shots!”

#28 - Andre Kristopans says,

#28 – Andre Kristopans says, “Cottage Grove at about 96th looking south where PROW started. Note same guy in both shots!”

M. E. writes, "Photo #27 had to be taken facing north from the Van Buren and State inner Loop platform. It shows a pre-Christmas scene. The big store on the right was Goldblatt's. Apparently State St. was shared by both the CTA and the Chicago Motor Coach company. This is unusual because the Motor Coach company stuck to the city's boulevard system, and used Michigan Ave. downtown. This photo pre-dates 1952, when the Motor Coach company merged into the CTA." Bill Shapotkin: "Looking N/B on State St from State/Van Buren "L" station."

M. E. writes, “Photo #27 had to be taken facing north from the Van Buren and State inner Loop platform. It shows a pre-Christmas scene. The big store on the right was Goldblatt’s. Apparently State St. was shared by both the CTA and the Chicago Motor Coach company. This is unusual because the Motor Coach company stuck to the city’s boulevard system, and used Michigan Ave. downtown. This photo pre-dates 1952, when the Motor Coach company merged into the CTA.” Bill Shapotkin: “Looking N/B on State St from State/Van Buren “L” station.”

#26 - Andre Kristopans says, "Western at the North Branch – old bascule bridge that was replaced about 1968 or so." Bill Wasik adds, "View north toward the old red towers at the Riverview entrance. The Pair-O-Chutes tower can be seen at the left."

#26 – Andre Kristopans says, “Western at the North Branch – old bascule bridge that was replaced about 1968 or so.” Bill Wasik adds, “View north toward the old red towers at the Riverview entrance. The Pair-O-Chutes tower can be seen at the left.”

#25 - Jeff Wien says this is "Devon Station (Ravenswood and Schreiber)."

#25 – Jeff Wien says this is “Devon Station (Ravenswood and Schreiber).”

Dan Cluley writes, "I think #24 is Western & Van Buren. Going over the detailed map in the Lund CSL book, Van Buren is the only line to cross Western with a single Wbd to Nbd connector, and there was an L station there until they tore down the line in 1953." If you compare this view to photos on pages 327-328 of CERA Bulletin 146, you'll see that they match pretty well. This picture must predate construction of the Van Buren temporary trackage for the Garfield Park "L", which probably dates the picture to no later than 1951.

Dan Cluley writes, “I think #24 is Western & Van Buren. Going over the detailed map in the Lund CSL book, Van Buren is the only line to cross Western with a single Wbd to Nbd connector, and there was an L station there until they tore down the line in 1953.” If you compare this view to photos on pages 327-328 of CERA Bulletin 146, you’ll see that they match pretty well. This picture must predate construction of the Van Buren temporary trackage for the Garfield Park “L”, which probably dates the picture to no later than 1951.

#23 - Jeff Wien says, "Cottage Grove-115th." Bill Shapotkin: "line-up of COTTAGE GROVE cars and end-of-line at Bumtown (oh, excuse me -- Kensington), 115th/Cottage Grove. View looks north."

#23 – Jeff Wien says, “Cottage Grove-115th.” Bill Shapotkin: “line-up of COTTAGE GROVE cars and end-of-line at Bumtown (oh, excuse me — Kensington), 115th/Cottage Grove. View looks north.”

Andre Kristopans says,

Andre Kristopans says, “#22 is looking north on Western Av about 54th. Boulevard is on right. Note the appalling condition of the street, half brick, half patches. Must have been absolutely awful to drive on! At the time, going from Avenue to Blvd at 54th meant a full right and a full left, not the 45-degree connection there now.”

#21 - Len Marcus says this is Western and Berwyn. Bill Shapotkin: "Berwyn/Western Loop. View looks west."

#21 – Len Marcus says this is Western and Berwyn. Bill Shapotkin: “Berwyn/Western Loop. View looks west.”

The Western-Berwyn loop as it looks today.

The Western-Berwyn loop as it looks today.

M. E. writes,

M. E. writes, “Photo #20 could be the south shops at 77th and Vincennes. It seems that all junked streetcars were there at first before being shipped out for scrap.”

M. E. writes, "Photo #19 was taken along Madison St. from the south side of the street, west of the Chicago River. In the distance can be seen the Loop L along Wells St. To the right of the photographer was the old eastern half of Union Station that paralleled the river. To the left of the photographer was the old Chicago Daily News building at 400 W. Madison. Underneath the photographer were tracks used by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific (a.k.a. Milwaukee Road) into Union Station, two blocks south between Adams and Jackson. Those tracks are still used today by Metra." However, George Foelschow opines, "Photo #19 is not Madison Street. The Civic Opera House would show in the background at the left. There would be a multi-story building on Wacker on the northeast corner. I believe it is on either the Monroe or Adams bridge, most likely Monroe."

M. E. writes, “Photo #19 was taken along Madison St. from the south side of the street, west of the Chicago River. In the distance can be seen the Loop L along Wells St. To the right of the photographer was the old eastern half of Union Station that paralleled the river. To the left of the photographer was the old Chicago Daily News building at 400 W. Madison. Underneath the photographer were tracks used by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific (a.k.a. Milwaukee Road) into Union Station, two blocks south between Adams and Jackson. Those tracks are still used today by Metra.” However, George Foelschow opines, “Photo #19 is not Madison Street. The Civic Opera House would show in the background at the left. There would be a multi-story building on Wacker on the northeast corner. I believe it is on either the Monroe or Adams bridge, most likely Monroe.”

#18 - Andre Kristopans says,

#18 – Andre Kristopans says, “NB car on Western, looks like around Chicago, probably closer to Grand.”

#17 - sderailway says,

#17 – sderailway says, “on the museum loop in Grant Park,” near Soldier Field and the Field Museum of Natural History.

#16 - sderailway says,

#16 – sderailway says, “Madison and N. Wacker looking west, June 1950.”

#15 - Andre Kristopans says,

#15 – Andre Kristopans says, “on 120th between Halsted and Morgan EB, note #119 bus turning right off Morgan in background heading west down 120th towards Vincennes and 111th.”

#14 - M. E. writes, "Judging by the curvature in the street, this could be on Wabash Ave. just north of the Chicago River. The photographer's location would be where the combined Sun-Times / Daily News building stood, which I believe is now a Trump building. If I am correct, then the 36 Broadway-State streetcar was being detoured on Wabash, perhaps during a reconstruction of the State St. bridge." This is also near the future site of Marina City.

#14 – M. E. writes, “Judging by the curvature in the street, this could be on Wabash Ave. just north of the Chicago River. The photographer’s location would be where the combined Sun-Times / Daily News building stood, which I believe is now a Trump building. If I am correct, then the 36 Broadway-State streetcar was being detoured on Wabash, perhaps during a reconstruction of the State St. bridge.” This is also near the future site of Marina City.

#13 - Jeff Wien says this is "Museum Loop at Roosevelt & Michigan westbound."

#13 – Jeff Wien says this is “Museum Loop at Roosevelt & Michigan westbound.”

#12 - Andre Kristopans says,

#12 – Andre Kristopans says, “looking north on Western at Bross (roughly 33rd) just south of South Branch in the area that was totally rebuilt in 1941 with new bridges.”

#11 - Dan Cluley says this is State looking north from the

#11 – Dan Cluley says this is State looking north from the “L” at Van Buren.

#10 - Dan Cluley ids this as Roosevelt passing over State.

#10 – Dan Cluley ids this as Roosevelt passing over State.

M. E. writes,

M. E. writes, “Photos #32 and #9, I am guessing, are of the 69th and Ashland barn. Streetcars shown here include the pre-war PCCs assigned to 63rd St., the post-war PCCs assigned to Western Ave., and the old red cars assigned everywhere else.”

#8 - M. E. writes,

#8 – M. E. writes, “This must be along Halsted St. during construction of the Congress Expressway. The view is facing northeast.”

#7 - Jeff Wien says this is "69th Street Station (not 77th, PCC ran on Western, Red Cars on Ashland)."

#7 – Jeff Wien says this is “69th Street Station (not 77th, PCC ran on Western, Red Cars on Ashland).”

Andre Kristopans says,

Andre Kristopans says, “#6 is about a block south of #12, NB car about to go under Western Blvd overpass.”

#5 - Andre Kristopans says,

#5 – Andre Kristopans says, “now here is a weird one. This is a car turning into Western and 79th terminal. Google Earth streetview confirms building behind rear of car is still there with the odd corner treatment. However, car has a “Wentworth” side sign. Most likely a pullout from 77th, and motorman has forgotten to change side sign!”

The same location as picture #5 as it looks today.

The same location as picture #5 as it looks today.

#4 - sderailway says this is east 95th and Cottage Grove looking north.

#4 – sderailway says this is east 95th and Cottage Grove looking north.

According to Andre Kristopans, "#3 is looking west on Division at Crosby. Cars are on detour via Halsted-Division-Crosby-Larrabee-Chicago-Halsted." The Ogden overpass, since demolished, is at rear.

According to Andre Kristopans, “#3 is looking west on Division at Crosby. Cars are on detour via Halsted-Division-Crosby-Larrabee-Chicago-Halsted.” The Ogden overpass, since demolished, is at rear.

#2 - Jeff Wien identifies this as "63rd Place near Narragansett."

#2 – Jeff Wien identifies this as “63rd Place near Narragansett.”

Andre Kristopans says,

Andre Kristopans says, “#1 is on Cottage Grove, looks like about 101st looking north.”

27 thoughts on “Chicago PCC Mystery Photos Answers

  1. #48 – Clark St around 14th looking north.

    #44 – 63rd and Halsted looking north.

    #33 – car is about to go south on Cottage Grove off 95th St. IC tracks are overhead.

    #23 – 115th and Cottage Grove.

    #2 – car is SB on Stony Island south of 87th St, north of 91st. Hard to pinpoint exact cross street.

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  2. #57 – sderailway says, “rt 22 no. 4276 northbound on S. Clark St. @ 16th.” (Passing under the St. Charles Air Line.)

    This was one I posted should be: southbound on S. Clark (the car is signed for 81st – Halsted and you can see the board of trade bldg in the background)

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  3. Photo #19 is not Madison Street. The Civic Opera House would show in the background at the left. There would be a multi-story building on Wacker on the northeast corner. I believe it is on either the Monroe or Adams bridge, most likely Monroe.
    Photo #26 Note Riverview’s parachute jump in the left background.
    Photos #37 and 49 Orphans 4001 and 7001 in storage at 77th Street.
    Photo #55 I believe the car is on Clark northbound at Diversey Parkway bound either for Broadway or Clark. One hint is the globe on post streetlights on Diversey, denoting a parkway. On the left at Pine Grove is a historic apartment building, notable for its interior court with an open cage elevator.

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    • #55, I agree, this is looking east on Diversey from Clark & that is a NB Clark or Broadway PCC. In the distance on the right is the sign for the Commonwealth Hotel. A few years later I lived across the street from it. That hotel was filled with Chicago based airline Stewardesses that lived there, I became friends with many of them.

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  4. These great vintage color shots are a revelation, not only for the traction, but for the cityscapes with bold advertising displays that would never be permitted today:

    #14 – A giant Fox Head 400 sign at the future site of Marina City.

    #3 – Division & Ogden – View east toward the Ogden viaduct over Goose Island.

    #26 – Western Ave – View north toward the old red towers at the Riverview entrance. The Pair-O-Chutes tower can be seen at the left.

    #41 – Madison & Ogden – A wonderful shot, the best in this post.

    #43 – Chicago Ave & the River – View east at Wards. This was a favorite spot for the tin sign brigade, with some rarities on display, especially the one for Nectar Beer.

    #45 – Clark & Southport – View south/southwest. The big Pabst roof neon was on top of a Pabst distributorship that occupied most of this triangular block. Of course, it was only a few blocks north of Wrigley Field, where Pabst had an exclusive with the Cubs for many years.

    Beer hobbyists may note not only the Pabst display, but also the nearly-unreadable red sign on an apartment building on Southport, visible through tree branches at the far right of the photo. This was a sign for Fox DeLuxe, but not the usual circa 1940 “Just Taste It!” signage that still can be seen on several buildings around town, even after 75 years. Instead, the Southport sign was perhaps the last of the Fox painted walls that went up at the dawn of Repeal, when the Peter Fox brewery introduced draft beer in a half-gallon bottle.

    This ad space on Southport wasn’t good, largely hidden from traffic, which may explain why the sign was never painted over. Back in the mid-1960’s, it was still visible-enough for me to make it the subject of a 35mm slide, one I wish I still had. In any case, Fox DeLuxe fans even today can search 4117 N. Southport on Google Maps Street View to see what traces of this rare ad remain visible today.

    #44 – 63rd & Halsted – This appears to be the Christmas shopping season on S. Halsted, going by the display in the Sears/Hillman’s window at the right. If this was taken in 1952, the photo sadly was made only days or weeks before six persons were killed in a fire that destroyed the General Furniture store at 6155 S. Halsted. The huge General Furniture sign can be seen in the distance at the right of this photo.

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  5. Photo #42 is at Clinton and Madison, looking NNE, facing the SW corner of North Western Station. You can see the trainshed (still there today) to the left, which heads north. The raised portion on the roof of the trainshed in the distance is where Washington crosses under and where streetcars entered the Washington streetcar tunnel. Compare this photo with current streetview images.

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  6. #40: Devon Station (Ravenswood and Schreiber)
    #44: Circa 1953, after pre-War PCCs were sent to Cottage Grove and post War PCCs were being sent to SLCC. Red Cars ran the last runs on 63rd Street.
    #25: Devon Station (Ravenswood and Schreiber)
    #24: Western and 18th
    #23: Cottage Grove-115th
    #13: Museum Loop at Roosevelt & Michigan westbound
    #7: 69th Street Station (not 77th, PCC ran on Western, Red Cars on Ashland)
    #2: 63rd Place near Narragansett

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  7. #24 can’t be 18th and Western. 18th st does not extend west of Western due to the BNSF elevation.

    #2 is Stony Island, south of 87th St, north of 91st St.

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    • Well, #24 must have been taken from either a railroad bridge or an elevated station. If the sign is right, the view is looking to the north.

      #2 is definitely on the 63rd Place private right-of-way between Central and Narragansett. Or are you thinking of a different picture?

      Thanks.

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      • My mistake on #2. Stony Island had different wire supports and light poles compared to the #2 photo.

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  8. I think #24 is Western & Van Buren.

    Going over the detailed map in the Lund CSL book, Van Buren is the only line to cross Western with a single Wbd to Nbd connector, and there was an L station there until they tore down the line in 1953.

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  9. It looks like #23 & #34 were taken at the same time. The angle is a little different, but it seems to be the same group of cars.

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  10. #27 – Motor Coach ran on State St from its very beginnings in the teens. North Side buses all used State as part of their downtown loop. The bus in the photo, however, is likely a Jeffery Express whose SB route was from Wacker via State to Van Buren, and then east to Michigan and via Lake Shore Dr towards Jeffery Manor. The successor 6-Jackson Park Express still goes down State, but now down to Balbo.

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  11. Note the “Welcome General MacArthur” sign at Soldier Field in the #17 photo. This was taken O/A April 26, 1951 as Mac made his triumphant return to the Midwest after being abruptly dismissed from his Far Eastern command by President Truman. I can remember standing with my folks at Michigan and Adams that day to watch the General’s parade go by.

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  12. George Foelschow opines, “Photo #19 is not Madison Street. The Civic Opera House would show in the background at the left.

    Corroborating Mr. Foelchow’s sleuthing that this not the Madison st bridge is the absence of the Civic Opera Bldg which is very prominent (Insull’s Throne) at the east end of the Madison St. bridge. In edition the steel overhead wire supports seem to be a lighter gauge steel than those on Madison st bridge. https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5609/15781222605_42a88540e3_b.jpg

    The bridge in #19 is the Monroe st. bridge. Madison routing was east on Madison to Dearborn to Monroe to Clinton then west on Madison.

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  13. Correction for #45 Clark & Southport. The view to the left is looking down Clark South by Southeast (not southwest). The view to the right is looking due South on Southport.
    The Pabst distributor was also a Blatz distributor. I use to buy beer by the case from there, discounted.

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