Kilbourn (4500W/600S)
Kilbourn Avenue and Harrison Street, West Garfield Park

Service Notes:

Garfield Line

Quick Facts:

Address: 616 S. Kilbourn Avenue
Established: June 19, 1895
Original Line: Metropolitan West Side Elevated, Garfield Park branch
Previous Names: 45th Avenue, Kral

Skip-Stop Type:


Rebuilt: n/a
Status: Demolished


The 45th Avenue station was opened in 1895 as part of the initial stretch of the Met's Garfield Park branch.

45th Avenue station -- later changed to Kilbourn Avenue -- consisted of a station house at street level and dual side platforms at track level. The station house was originally probably typical of the Met designs on the Northwest and Garfield Park branches. Constructed of red pressed brick with stone sills and foundations, their vernacular style might best be described as Queen Anne-influenced with some Romanesque features. The stations' original design was highlighted by a semicircular bay/portico, a lattice pattern in the brick cornice, extensive terra cotta work including the word "entrance" above one door in the portico and "exit" above the other, dentals above the doors' story lights, and carved wooden beads flush with the building between the wooden brackets which support a wooden canopy over the portico.

The station's dual side platforms had canopies and railings typical of all Met stations: Designed into the railings were larger cast iron square plates with a stylized diamond design. The stairs and platforms were constructed of wood on a steel structure. Each platform had a short canopy in the center of the platform, covering the stairs and a small waiting area. The canopy frame was iron, with arched latticed supports and bracketed rafters, and hipped roofs of corrugated tin.

In the mid-1950s, work was undertaken to replace the Garfield Line with a new rapid transit line in the median of the Congress Expressway, parallel to a roughly a block from the Garfield Line. Kilbourn closed on September 20, 1953 when the Garfield Line was rerouted via temporary grade-level trackage along Van Buren between Sacramento and Aberdeen due to expressway construction. Kilbourn was not in the way of the construction project but was closed due to its low patronage to speed up service on the Garfield Line.

No replacement station was opened on the Congress Line close to Kilbourn in 1958, but the Kostner station was later added one block east of Kilbourn in 1962.

By August 1959, the station house and lower section of the stairs to the platforms had been removed. That month, the Chicago Transit Board awarded a $106,646 contract to Lipsett Steel Products, Inc. to demolish the remaining stairs, platforms, canopies, railings, flooring, cross girders, columns, brackets and stringers at Kilbourn and five other closed Garfield Park stations, as well as the elevated structure between Sacramento Blvd. and Lavergne Avenue.



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