The Roosevelt Road station on the Westchester branch is seen on September 9, 1929. The sign over the door calls the stop "Westchester Station". When Roosevelt was the end of the line, the station was simply named for the town. When the line was extended further into Westchester, the station was renamed for the street it was located on. The distinctive bus stop sign near the front door belongs to the Sam Insull-controlled Metropolitan Motor Coach Company. For a larger view, click here. (Photo from the Graham Garfield Collection)

Roosevelt (10200W/1200S)
Roosevelt Road near Bellwood Avenue, City of Westchester

Service Notes:

Westchester Line

Quick Facts:

Address: TBD
Established: October 1, 1926
Original Line: Metropolitan Division, Westchester branch
Previous Names: Westchester
Skip-Stop Type: n/a
Rebuilt: n/a
Status: Demolished

History:

This small station was built on the rural Westchester branch of the Metropolitan "L", a line constructed primarily to help sell real estate that belonged to associates of CA&E president Thomas Conway.

Originally called Westchester station, Roosevelt was the terminal for Westchester branch for four years after opening in 1926. The station was originally at-grade, with a station house fronting onto Roosevelt Road (little more than a dirt thoroughfare) and a simple platform for boarding a alighting. The tracks reached the ground-level station house, which was on the north side of Roosevelt Road, just after passing under the tracks of the Illinois Central Railroad's Iowa Division.

The station house was a largely vernacular design with strong influences from the Prairie School style and some Craftsman elements. The building had stucco exterior walls topped with a hipped roof with wide, overhanging eaves supported by heavy wood brackets. Its low massing, banded casement windows, and horizontal lines gave it a vaguely Prairie School feel.

Work began in 1927 on a two-mile extension of the Westchester branch to 22nd/Mannheim. The extension meant that Roosevelt changed from being a terminal to a through station, which would have required some alterations. But the insistence of county highway officials that the "L" line not cross Roosevelt Road at grade (a seemingly unnecessary requirement, given that the road was rather "unimproved" and the area still lightly populated) necessitated a grade separation and an extensive rearrangement of the station.

The original station house was kept, but the tracks were relocated into an open cut so that the line could pass under Roosevelt Road. A spur track diverged from the "L" line north of the station, running parallel to and west of the main line tracks and terminated just north of the IC viaduct. A platform was built on this track, which may have served as a temporary station platform while the grade-separation project was carried out. (The platform was later removed and this spur was later used for the lay-up and storage of railcars.) In any case, the reconstructed station featured the original station house on the north side of Roosevelt Road with a new elevated walkway connected to the rear. Passengers used this bridge to cross over the northbound track and descend down to the new island platform, which was largely located under the Roosevelt Road viaduct. The new station was ready for use by 1929, although the extension didn't open for another year.

The extension to 22nd/Mannheim entered service on December 1, 1930. Although the line now continued past Roosevelt Road, trains from the Loop still initially terminated at Roosevelt with a shuttle train running between Roosevelt and 22nd. In 1933, the shuttle train was replaced with through-service, although this was accomplished by uncoupling a car from outbound trains that would continue to 22nd and doing the opposite for inbound traffic.

The station continued in use until 1951 when the Westchester branch ceased operating due to service revisions in Garfield Park operations that saw the line terminated at Desplaines Avenue. Westchester branch service was replaced with the CTA's® #17 Westchester bus, which stops near the former location of the station house. The station was subsequently demolished.

 

The rearranged Roosevelt Road station, seen looking south on September 9, 1929. This view shows the layout of the station as it was revised for the extension to 22nd & Mannheim (which didn't enter service until 15 months after the photo was taken). Passengers entered the station through the original station house, seen on the left, exiting through the rear and using the overhead bridge to access the island platform under the road viaduct. For a larger view, click here. (Photo from the Graham Garfield Collection)


crt2790@roosevelt01.jpg (148k)
A two-car Westchester train led by car 2790 nears Roosevelt Road as it travels south, probably in the 1940s. The view looks north from the Illinois Central Railroad viaduct just north of the station; the Roosevelt station is behind the photographer. The cars on the left are being stored. Note that by this time, the appearance of the cars had become weathered and dull after years of deferred maintenance. (George Krambles photo, courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson Archive)

crt2790@roosevelt02.jpg (193k)
Car 2790, a 1904-vintage Jewitt-built former Metropolitan Elevated motorcar, is part of a two-car train on the Westchester branch circa the late 1940s. This view looks south from Roosevelt Road, where the double-track branch narrows to a single-track line for the remaining mile to the terminus at Mannheim/22nd. The building in the lower right is at the end of the station's island platform. (George Krambles photo, courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson Archive)