Garrett Block I, Chicago City Railway Office
Life Span: 1857-1871
Location: Southeast Corner State and Randolph Streets
Architect: W. W. Boyington
Weekly Chicago Times, January 8, 1857
Corner of State street. The immense castle like looking building, unlike anything else in the city. It is four stories high, 61 feet front on State street and 75 feet on Randolph street, and is built of pressed brick. There is a tower on each corner, surmounted by a tall flag-staff. The lower stories will be fitted up for stores, of which there is ample room for eleven. The upper stories will always be used for offices. In the rear formed by the angle, is the immense omnibus stable of the Messrs.
Parmalee, built last year, and which we described from it in our last annual list of buildings. The grand entrance on State street leads up two broad flights of stairs to the immense apartment until recently occupied as Gould’s riding gallery, but which has now been leased to the Chicago Light Guard for five years, and is being fitted up by them as an armory. It is their intention to make it the most splendid hall in the city, and to arrange it so that it can be used for concerts, lectures and balls.—The cost of the part of the building erected this year is $55,000. F. Parmalee & Co., proprietors. W. W. Boyington, architect.
Weekly Chicago Times, December 31, 1857
The Light Guard Hall, corner of State and Randolph street. This building is in the rear of what is known as the Garrett Block, and the entrance to it is through the same, on State street. The lower story is used as a receptacle for the numerous omnibusses of Messrs. Parmelee & Co. The upper story was first designed for a riding gallery, and was for a short time used for that purpose; but the members of the Chicago Light Guard wished to convert it into an armory end drill room, and it was accordingly remodeled for that purpose.
The principal hall is 10 feet square. This is used for drill, and military exercises. The arms and accoutrements of the members are arranged symmetrically around the walls in glass cases.—There are besides, two parlors. which are used by the members to hold their meetings in, and a dining room and kitchen attached, with all the necessary appurtenances. The hall and parlors being elegantly furnished, and having these conveniences, are frequently used for balls and concerts. For the latter purpose it is furnished with settees. The cost of the alterations was $5,000, and the designs were made by Messrs. Bovington & Wheelock, architects.
Chicago Tribune, February 14, 1859
The Horse Railroad a Fixed Fact—The Bill Passed—The Work to be Completed Immediately.—It will be received with very general satisfaction in this city, the intelligence that the bill incorporating the Chicago City Railroad Company has become a law, having passed both houses of Legislature, as announced by our dispatches from Springfield on Saturday.
The work on State street will now go on without interruption, and a very few weeks will see the beautiful cars of the Company making their way between Lake street and a Southern terminus.
And this is really good news to the increasing population of our Southern Lake shore suburbs. Let next spring see the Railroad completed from Garrett Block to Uhlich’s Hotel, and there is no a direction from our business centre that will attract residents who desire suburban homes with a speedy, frequent and easy connection with up town.
Horse railroads in other cities than Chicago, have shown themselves to be not unlike babies in their exposure to the “diseases of infancy,” from which the Chicago City Company are now happily exempt.
This important enterprise we believe to be in the best of hands, not only for its speedy completion, but for such management as shall subserve fully the interest and good of the public. Dwellers on State street, and those doing business thereon, wil miss, and much to their advantage, the noisy rattling omnibuses. The street will be left more free to other vehicles while the patrons of the cars will find an exchange for their benefit, and their entire comment.