The drawing shows the Jackson Park "L" station, which was located inside the Columbian Exposition fair grounds on an annex to the famous Transportation Building. The facility included a transfer to the fair's own elevated electric Intramural Railway. (Map from Railway Age)

Jackson Park (6350S/1700E)*
Hayes Drive and Cornell Drive, Woodlawn

Service Notes:

South Side Rapid Transit

Quick Facts:

Address: Behind the Transportation Building, Columbian Exposition fairgrounds**
Established: May 12, 1893
Original Line: n/a
Previous Names: none
Skip-Stop Type: n/a
Rebuilt: n/a
Status: Demolished


During late 1892 and early 1893, the South Side Rapid Transit busily extended their line from its original terminal at 39th Street to Jackson Park for the World's Columbian Exposition. Extensions were opened as completed, with service gradually extended south as permitted. By April 23, 1893, Madison Avenue (later called Dorchester) opened, but service to Jackson Park (and the fair) didn't start until May 12, two weeks after the fair had opened. In the interim, passengers disembarked at Madison and walked on a special walkway constructed on the "L" structure to the fair grounds.

The Jackson Park station was built above an annex to the Transportation Building at the World Fair, held in Jackson Park. Here, passengers could either walk out of the station to the fair, enter the famous Transportation Building, or transfer to the fair's own elevated, electric Intramural Railway. During late night and early morning hours, the fair grounds were closed and trains terminated at the Stony Island station a mere several hundred feet west.

With the station open less than one year, there are understandably few (if any) photographs of the facility. What we do know about the station is this: located only several hundred feet east of the Stony Island station, the tracks proceeded east from Stony, then turned southeast for a few hundred feet. The station consisted of two stub-end tracks with three platforms: one island, two side. A diamond crossover just west of the station allowed access to both tracks. The platforms merged at the ends of the tracks, allowing access to all three from the front of the station. From there, passengers could proceed ahead, through the station house (which seems to have simply been an open fare control area with a simple gable roof) and out to the fair; or east to either a passageway to the Transportation Building or to the Intramural Railway's dual platforms.

The Jackson Park terminal has the distinction of being both the shortest-lived "L" station and the "L" first station closure. While the Jackson Park station was ideally suited to fair traffic, it was poorly located for post-Exposition use. Concurrent with the end of the fair, the Jackson Park terminal was closed on October 31, 1893, making Stony Island (then renamed Jackson Park) the end of the line. The structure was demolished soon thereafter.


transportation_bldg.jpg (105k)
Markedly different from the other white plaster, Beaux-Arts/Neo-Classical fair buildings, Louis Sullivan's Transportation Building had mixed reviews from architectural critics of the day. Not relayed in this black and white photograph is the structure's magnificent golden arched doorway. The Jackson Park "L" station was located behind this building. (Photo by C.D. Arnold)

* = Exact coordinates are difficult to determine. The Columbian Exposition fairgrounds were not platted to the city's grid system and the terminal's location within the current Jackson Park grounds can only be approximately determined.

** = Address is not available, as station was within the Columbian Exposition fairgrounds, which were not platted to the city's grid system, nor did each building have its own individual street address.