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Logan Square Blue Line History Exhibit Features Awesome Photos

By Paul Biasco | August 18, 2015 7:41am
 A previously unseen photo of the Logan Square Terminal that will be on display during an upcoming exhibit at the Comfort Station.
A previously unseen photo of the Logan Square Terminal that will be on display during an upcoming exhibit at the Comfort Station.
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Logan Square Preservation

LOGAN SQUARE — Forty-five years ago, what is now known as the CTA Blue Line ended at Logan Square.

In 1969, the city made a decision to extend the line out to Jefferson Park.

At the time, Milwaukee Avenue was booming and was the center of the neighborhood's main drag.

The final decision was to dig a trench under Milwaukee and create a subway, a significant undertaking that modernized and extended the Blue Line.

"Milwaukee was a very thriving business district at the time," said Andrew Schneider, president of Logan Square Preservation.

Next month, Schneider and co-curator David Keel will exhibit 40 previously unseen vintage photographs that document the excavation and construction of the Blue Line extension.

That project was supposed to originally take three months and businesses planned to ride out the storm of construction.

In the end, it took nine months and many businesses didn't survive the construction.

Paul Biasco details the transformation of the Logan Square station:

The line eventually stretched to O'Hare International Airport.

Most merchants at the time wanted the subway line to run under anywhere but Milwaukee, according to Schneider.

"The neighborhood's identity changed a lot," he said.

The photography exhibit will open Sept. 6 at the Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The exhibition will provide a glimpse into a not-so-distance past in an area of the neighborhood that included some of the most recognizable buildings and businesses of the time.

The images show the demolition of what Schneider called some of Logan Square's most extraordinary buildings.

"It was a big time of transformation," he said. "The community lost a lot of old-time businesses, but people will be surprised to see what sort of businesses and things used to be here."

Before the excavation effort, the Logan Square station at Kedzie Boulevard and Linden Place served as the end of the line for the previous 75 years.

The elevated terminal station closed on Feb. 1, 1970, as the new Kennedy extension and the subway station opened.

The photos will be on display from Sept. 6 through Sept. 27.

An opening reception is scheduled from 2-5 p.m. on Sept. 6.

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