Dearborn Station

Dearborn Station

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Dearborn Station

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Dearborn Station was the oldest of the six intercity train stations serving downtown Chicago during the heyday of rail in the twentieth century. Additionally, the station was used as a terminal for commuter traffic. Located at Dearborn and Polk Street, it was also referred to as Polk Street Station. The station was owned by the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad, which itself was owned by the companies operating over its line.

The Romanesque Revival structure, designed by Cyrus L. W. Eidlitz, opened on May 8, 1885. The three-story building's exterior walls and twelve-story clock tower were composed of pink granite and red pressed brick topped by a number of steeply-pitched roofs. Modifications to the structure following a fire in 1922 included eliminating the original pitched roof profile. Behind the head house were the train platforms, shielded by a large train shed. Inside the station were ticket counters, waiting rooms, and one of the legendary Fred Harvey Company restaurants.

The station was closed on May 2, 1971, as the first step of Amtrak's consolidation of Chicago's remaining intercity train operations at Union Station. By 1976, Dearborn Station's trainshed was demolished and tracks were removed. However, the headhouse building escaped the fate of several other Chicago stations like Central Station and Grand Central Station, which were both demolished.

The train station stood abandoned into the mid-1980s when it was converted to retail and office space. The former...
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