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115th Street Metra Depot Damaged By Fire Will Be Torn Down Today

 The Metra depot at 1982 W. 115th St. was destroyed by fire May 28. The station was deemed a historic landmark in 1995.
The Metra depot at 1982 W. 115th St. was destroyed by fire May 28. The station was deemed a historic landmark in 1995.
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DNAinfo/Howard A. Ludwig

MORGAN PARK — The 115th Street Metra Depot will be razed Friday in Morgan Park.

Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said late Thursday that removing train station that was severely damaged in a fire May 28 is an issue of public safety.

"Metra is extremely disappointed that this building cannot be saved because we understand it has served as a community anchor for 125 years," Gillis said in a written statement.

He also reaffirmed Metra's commitment to continue to stop at the station at 1982 W. 115th St.

The commuter rail provider is considering various options to replace the the damaged depot, including a short-term plan to provide riders with shelter this winter, and a long term solution, Gillis said.

Margot Burke Holland is the executive director of the Beverly Area Planning Association and sought assurances Thursday from Metra that service will continue at 115th Street. She also wanted Metra to commit to rebuilding a station with similar amenities.

"We appreciate Metra publicly confirming their plans at 115th Street and continuing to provide access to our neighbors there," Holland said upon review of Metra's statement.

Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) said Thursday he met with Metra officials shortly after the fire and was promised that service would continue at 115th Street despite the damage to the station.

O'Shea also said that the station will be rebuilt — although in a considerably more modest fashion.

"It's not going to be anything like it was," O'Shea said.

He pointed to several suburban stations along the Metra's Rock Island District Line, including lavish depots in Oak Forest and Tinley Park. O'Shea said those municipalities invested heavily in those stations.

That won't be the case in 19th Ward, where the Rock Island makes seven stops. And with the exception of Metra's 103rd Street station, all of the rail depots in Beverly and Morgan Park were made historic landmarks in 1995, according to a report.

"I just want Metra to keep all the stations open and continue making the stops," said O'Shea, who pointed to a $500,000 renovation project of the 115th Street station's outdoor platforms that began May 8 and has continued in despite the fire.

"I like to say that in the 19th Ward we have a stop every four blocks," he said.