Left: The mezzanine-level station house of the Parnell station. This type of station was typical of the Englewood branch from this location eastward. (Photo from the Charles E. Keevil/Walter R. Keevil Collection)
Below Right: Parnell Avenue platforms seen looking northeast on April 14, 1924. (Photo from the Krambles-Peterson Collection)
Parnell Avenue near 63rd Street, Englewood
South Side Division, Englewood branch
Address: 6322-24? S. Parnell Avenue
Established: December 24, 1906
Original Line: South Side Elevated Railroad, Englewood branch
Previous Names: none
Skip-Stop Type: n/a
The Englewood Branch of the South Side Rapid Transit began construction in 1903. It opened in segments, beginning November 3, 1905 with a shuttle from the main line at 58th Street to State Street. By December 10 it was extended to Wentworth and Princeton (actually 61st Street) on January 11, 1906. The next segment to Harvard Street opened November 3 (the victim of a 226-day iron workers' strike). Parnell and Halsted to the west opened just in time for last minute Christmas shopping on December 24. By July 13, 1907, the rest of the line was opened to its terminal at Loomis Blvd.
Parnell station was designed by architect Earl Nielson and built by the American Bridge Company of New York. Like many Englewood stations, it had a mezzanine level station house even though the right-of-way beneath the structure was not used as a public thoroughfare. Four stairways, two on the north side and two on the south, led from the street level up to the mezzanine. The mezzanine station house's design was unremarkable and functional, with little architectural style to its execution. Measuring roughly 25 feet by 35 feet, it was constructed of wood on a steel structure. Its interior was simple, containing an agent's booth built into the wall, a porter's closet, and a restroom. From the back of the mezzanine two stairways led to each of the station's dual side platforms. The platforms were typical of those on the Englewood branch, with wood decking on a steel structure. The canopies were supported from the back of the platform, with steel arched supports and latticework along the back and a hipped corrugated metal roof. Railings were simple and without ornament.
The Parnell station was adjacent to the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad's 63rd Street station, sometimes also called the "Little Englewood" station. Although the C&WI's station fronted onto 63rd Street, there was also an enclosed pedestrian connection from the Parnell "L" station to the steam railroad's facility. This direct connection between the stations was apparently in place from the time of the "L" station's opening, and was provided for through a contract between the Chicago & Western Indiana and the Englewood Elevated Railroad Company. The C&WI noted in their 1906 stockholders' report that the connection "resulted in a considerable increase in the ticket sales" of the tenant lines at the Englewood station (the Monon, the Wabash, the Erie, Chicago & Eastern Illinois, and the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville, which collectively owned the C&WI, also used the line and station). The report also noted that, "these sales will increase as soon as the public understands and appreciates the superior accommodations afforded by this arrangement."1
Parnell station survived into the CTA era, but was one of 23 stations closed July 31, 1949 as part of the North-South service revision and institution of A/B skip stop service August 1.
1. "Report of the Board of Directors of the Chicago & Western Indianan Railroad Company to the Stockholders for the Year Ending December 31, 1906." Chicago & Western Indianan Railroad Company. June 4, 1907.