When I read early this summer that Chicago had a 120-year-old El station, right in the Loop, I knew I had to make a visit. I finally made the trip this weekend and could not be more excited to have found the gem that is Quincy Station.
Quincy Station was one of three El stations in the Loop designed in the Neoclassical style by Alfred M. Hadley in 1896. It opened in 1897 and today is one of the best preserved original El stations. Exterior Neoclassical decorations, pressed metal interior walls, and varnished wood floors set Quincy Station apart from other El stations. It’s more than just looks: Quincy Station is a glimpse into Chicago’s history in an area where much is constantly changing.
Today, a ride on the El from Quincy Station to the newly-opened Washington-Wabash Station, takes you through 120 years in about 10 minutes. These eye-catching changes in our surroundings, whether historic or modern, are hard not to appreciate. It is not uncommon to see a passerby pull out their phone for a quick snapshot at the entrance of Quincy Station (I wasn’t the only one snapping pictures today!) or on the modern platform at Washington-Wabash. People stop, they point out things to their friends, and they notice.
Sources and Further Reading:
Read the CTA’s page on the Quincy Station for more about the station and renovation (a 2017 project to make Quincy Station accessible to customers with disabilities). Scroll all the way down for fun trivia and historic pictures!
Interested in decorative pressed metal walls and ceilings? Check out the NPS Preservation Brief.
Interested in the brand-new El station? Check out Blair Kamin’s piece, “First new Loop ‘L’ station in 20 years creates curvy gateway to Millennium Park.”