A flagman protects workers on the platform from passing trains as crews dismantle the Damen station on the Lake Street Elevated in 1949. For a larger view, click here. (CTA photo, from CTA Transit News)
Damen Avenue and Lake Street, Near West Side
Lake Street Division
Established: November 6, 1893
Original Line: Lake Street Elevated Railroad
Previous Names: Robey Street
Skip-Stop Type: n/a
Robey Street station was typical of those built in 1892-93 for the Lake Street Elevated Railroad -- similar to stations at Ashland, Homan and Sacramento, among many others -- designed by its engineering staff and built by the Lloyd and Pennington Company.
The station had twin station houses and side platforms for boarding inbound and outbound trains. The station houses were designed in a Queen Anne style with a Victorian Gothic influence. The station houses had gabled roofs with two windowless gabled dormers each. Each roof was topped with a unique square cupola with a diamond pattern and a steeply hipped roof with a small gabled dormer in each of the four sides. These structures represent a unique attempt to apply the Queen Anne architectural style.
The station had side platforms, covered by tin-covered peaked-roof canopies supported by a row of steel center posts. The posts had decorative elements cast into them, most notably in the top angle bracket that supported the canopy braces. The Lake Street Elevated stations also originally had elaborate railings on the platforms with decorative scroll metalwork.
Robey station was renamed Damen by the early 1930s, when the street it served was renamed.
The station was closed in 1948 when the CTA revamped service on the Lake Street Line -- the first of a series of line-by-line service overhauls -- by closing 10 little-used stations and implementing A/B skip-stop service to speed up trains on the route. The station, along with Morgan, Racine, Oakley, Campbell, Sacramento, and Kostner, was demolished in early 1949. Prior to the start of wrecking work, all usable equipment, such as newer lumber, doors, and newer railings were removed for reuse elsewhere. Platform girders from the dismantled stations were reused to lengthen platforms at other "L" stations.