Western (2400W/400S)
Western Avenue and Van Buren Street, Near West Side

Service Notes:

Garfield Line

Quick Facts:

Address: 421 S. Western Avenue
Established: June 19, 1895
Original Line: Metropolitan West Side Elevated, Garfield Park branch
Previous Names: none

Skip-Stop Type:


Rebuilt: n/a
Status: Demolished


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

Western station 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 early 1930s, the entire length of Western Avenue was widened. This expansion required the demolition of a number of buildings along the thoroughfare and resulted in the "L" station being trimmed back to a new building line. At that time, Western station was given a new front of glazed terra cotta. The tan and green addition, typical in design of 20s/30s art deco architecture, stood in stark contrast to the dark brick original building, which could still be seen on the sides and in back. The words "L • Rapid Transit • L", executed in green terra cotta, were a prominent and impressive feature. Nearly identical fronts were also put on the Western Avenue stations at the Douglas Park, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square Met stops. (The Lake Street "L" crossed Western, but had no stop. The Western station on the Ravenswood branch had a new front added in the late 1920s and was apparently untouched.)

In 1953, the Garfield Park branch was rerouted via temporary grade-level trackage east of Sacramento Avenue along Van Buren Street due to construction of the Congress [Eisenhower] Expressway, returning to the old elevated main line at Aberdeen, a block east of Racine. Western station was one of several stations that closed on September 27 that year, allowing the old Met elevated to be demolished between Sacramento and Aberdeen.

A replacement station at Western was opened on the Congress Line in 1958.



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