Wisconsin & Randolph (1100W/300S)
Wisconsin Avenue and Randolph Street, Village of Oak Park

Service Notes:

Lake Street Elevated, Randolph Street branch

Quick Facts:

Address: TBD
Established: May 14, 1899
Original Line: Lake Street Elevated Railroad, Randolph Street branch
Previous Names: none
Skip-Stop Type: n/a
Rebuilt: n/a
Status: Demolished


On December 20, 1898, a franchise was awarded to the Cicero & Harlem Railway (in place of the Lake Street Elevated, due to its shaky finances) for a rapid transit extension from 52nd to 72nd Avenues. The franchise allowed for the construction of several lines and branches, including a two-block extension south in Lombard Avenue to connect the Lake Street Elevated to the Suburban Railroad's Randolph Street line. Lake Street "L" service was extended to Wisconsin Avenue via Randolph Street on May 14, 1899.

The stations on this portion consisted of converted Suburban Railroad depots that were already in place along Randolph Street. The stations originally typically consisted of a wood frame depot with ground-level wooden platforms. When the "L" was extended over the Randolph trackage, high level side platforms with hipped-roof canopies were added to service the "L" trains. The Wisconsin station was unusual in having only one high-level platform, serving the eastbound track. (More than likely, since this was at far west as C&OP "L" service went, trains probably pulled into and out of the single platform in stub-terminal fashion.) Otherwise, the Suburban Railroad depots were largely unaltered.

The Randolph Street branch was relatively short-lived. The beginning of the end came in 1902, when the Suburban Railroad entered receivership. The receiver annulled the Suburban's lease agreement from the Chicago Terminal Transfer to use the Randolph tracks (the CTT owned the Randolph branch, the Suburban just had a lease for its use). This, by extension, canceled the agreement for the Chicago & Oak Park Elevated (successor to the Lake Street Elevated) to use the Suburban's Randolph branch. These factors, combined with increasing community opposition to the railroad's presence, led to the suspension of service by both the "L" and the Suburban Railroad on the Randolph Street branch on December 21, 1903.

On January 7, 1904, the village officially ordered the removal of the branch's tracks and stations. The Wisconsin station was torched by vandals. The rest of the structures were either demolished or moved onto private property for adaptive reuse.


This Chicago-L.org article is a stub. It will be expanded in the future as resources allow.