The 58th island platform, abandoned at the time of the photograph, looking south on July 18, 2006. The 1988-built canopy has a simple design of a horizontal beams, supported by a dual row of I-beam columns, topped with a slightly peaked roof. A sign on the end of the platform reminds trains train operators that 58th is "Not a passenger stop". The space between the tracks in the foreground formerly had a center stub track. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

58th (5800S/300E)
58th Street and Prairie Avenue, Washington Park

Service Notes:

Green Line: South Side Elevated

Quick Facts:

Address: 320-24 E. 58th Street
Established: January 22, 1893
Original Line: South Side Rapid Transit
Previous Names: none

Skip-Stop Type:


Rebuilt: 1983
Status: Demolished


58th station was built as part of the South Side Rapid Transit's extension to the Columbian Exposition in 1892-93. The original station building was a grade-level structure that resembled other stations built as part of the extension, such as the building still at Garfield and those now removed from Indiana, 43rd, 47th, 51st, and 61st.

The 58th station platform is seen looking south on March 1, 1960 with its original 1893 hump-shaped canopy. The 58th station was one of the only South Side stations to keep its original canopy for most of its existence. For a larger view, click here. (Photo from Graham Garfield Collection)

Designed by architect Myron H. Church and built by the Rapid Transit and Bridge Construction Company (under general contractor Alfred Walcott and engineer R.I. Sloan), the station house was designed with a Queen Anne-style influence. The building was constructed of brick with stone sills and foundation with polychrome brickwork along the top of the exterior in a latticed diamond pattern. Perhaps the building's most prominent feature was the bay that projected from the front elevation, with its broad half-cone roof. The building's bay and brick frieze display many qualities of the Queen Anne style, although the flat terra-cotta cornice and other elements show some examples of early Chicago School of architecture.

Unlike other South Side stations, which had dual side platforms, 58th station was designed with a single island platform. The platform consisted of a wooden deck on a steel structure. The original canopy was humped-shaped, typical of the original South Side Rapid Transit designs. Unlike the other South Side stations whose canopies were replaced early on with short canopies of steel posts supporting a flat tin roof, 58th kept its original canopy until the 1980s.

58th station took on new significance when, on November 3, 1905, the South Side Elevated's Englewood branch opened. The Englewood branch left the main line at 59th Street, making 58th the last station before the split and an important transfer station. When the Englewood branch first opened, shuttle trains were operated from the branch to 58th station, which turned around on a center stub track north of the station platform. At 58th, passengers had to transfer to Jackson Park trains to downtown. On November 3, 1906, when the branch was opened as far as Harvard station, an express through service to the Loop was instituted during rush hours, but the shuttle to 58th remained in operation at all other times. In 1911, the shuttle service was discontinued and all Englewood trains were routed downtown. Facilitated by its island platform configuration, 58th remained the primary transfer station between Englewood and Jackson Park trains until 1949, when A/B skip-stop service was instituted. Under this express scheme, 58th became an "A" station, with "A" trains serving the Englewood branch ("B" trains served Jackson Park). With no Jackson Park service at 58th, the transfer point became 51st station (the first "AB" stop after the junction) and later Garfield station (which became "AB" in 1982). In 1993, the CTA suspended A/B service on the Englewood-Jackson Park route and all trains called at 58th station again.

In 1983, the CTA began a project to renovate the 58th station. As was done at several South Side Elevated stations, the renovation was to take place in piecemeal fashion, with the platform and station house rebuilt separately, years apart, under separately-funded projects due to the limited funds CTA had available for such endeavors. The first part to be rebuilt was the island platform in 1983. The new station platform includes a new canopy with a slightly peaked roof extending out over the centerline of each track.

The reconstruction of the station house was to follow in 1986. In a letter that year, the Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks described the Victorian station house as being "in poor condition". This state was apparently brought on, in part, by erosion of the station house's masonry surfaces following a sandblast cleaning several years before. Such treatment of masonry, if not done carefully and correctly, provides a short-term aesthetic improvement but often causes long-term damage by removing the brick's protective glazing.

The project to rebuild the station house was delayed. In September 1988, the CTA Board awarded $1.1 million in contracts to Interlock Services Corp./Atlas Construction Services to build new stations at the Pulaski on the Douglas branch and at 58th on the North-South Route. The original 1893 station house was removed, but for some reason the new station house was never built. New temporary fare controls were installed on the platform at the top of the stairs from the street.

On February 21, 1993, the South Side Englewood-Jackson Park Line, formerly paired with the Howard Line and forming the North-South Route, was repaired with the Lake Street Line and formed the CTA's new Green Line.

On January 9, 1994, the Green Line closed for a two-year rehabilitation. All stations on the line, including 58th, closed, but unlike most other stations 58th did not reopen. During the renovation, CTA decided that some sections of the Green Line had stations too close together -- 58th station is three blocks south of Garfield station -- and chose to close some stations permanently to control the costs of the renovation project, improve operations, and reduce operating costs when the line reopened. The new station platform was used for just ten years before the CTA closed it.

The platform and canopy remained in place for 18 years after the station closed, abandoned with the stairs gated off. The CTA was required to keep the station intact and in operable condition due to the use of federal monies in its renovation until the grant investment had amortized. By 2010, the wooden platform decking had deteriorated to the point that it was cordoned off even from employee access, although the steel structure of the platform and canopy appeared to be in reasonable condition. The CTA demolished the remains of the station between January and early February 2012, removing the platform stringers and joists and the canopy columns and roof. Today, nothing of the station remains.


The 58th station platform is seen looking south under the canopy on July 18, 2006. Visible in the background between the rows of canopy supports are a disused agent's booth and an exit rotogate. Although most of the signage has been removed, a Board Here sign is visible in the distance. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The 58th island platform, abandoned at the time of the photograph, looking north in Summer 2000 as a Harlem-bound 2400-series Green Line train passes through and a southbound train approaches in the distance. All of the station signs have been removed, their mountings left empty. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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A 58th Street symbol sign. Despite the fact that 58th was an A station (normally red), the sign is blue (usually for AB stations) because it was made after 1990, when it was decided to drop the color-coding on the signs and make them all Olympic Blue, CTA's then-official color. (Sign from the collection of Graham Garfield)

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The 58th station platform is seen looking north on March 27, 2011 from the rear of IRM's 2011 Snowflake Special charter train. The platform and canopy are structurally intact, but in the absence of regular maintenance the platform decking has deteriorated over the years. The sign on the end of the platform reminds train operators that 58th is not a passenger stop, and informs all personnel that no one should walk on the platform. (Photo by Dennis Herbuth)