Chicago Tribune August 31, 1925
Chicago Tribune May 12 1938
KELLY ACTS FOR ‘SUBWAY NOW’
CAN START IN 2 MONTHS IF U.S PROVIDES CASH
City Council Asked to Pave Way.
The three subways would be the initial construction in the Chicago transit modernization program prepared last fall by Philip Harringtony city traction engineer.
The plan provides for two track subways in Jackson boulevard and Washington street, which would per- mit the removal from the surface of all east-west street car lines in the loop. Both would have eastern terminals under Grant park. The western terminal of the Jackson boulevard tube would be at Clinton street and that of the Washington street at Desplaines street,
The third subway would be a two track tunnel under State street for north and south elevated trains. This subway would extend from 14th street north to Chicago avenue and west under Chicago avenue to Franklin street to a connection with the north side elevated.
Must Be Finished in Two Years.
Mayor Kelly told the council that under pending federal legislation for public grants no project will be ap- proved unless it can be completed in two years or less. City traction en- gineers, he said, have assured him that the three subways can be com- pleted in that time.
Mayor Kelly told the city council yesterday that construction work can be started soon on three downtown subways if a federal grant for part of the total cost of 28 million dollars is obtained. The Jackson and Washington street subways would be for street cars and the State street tunnel tor north and south side elevated trains.
May 12, 1938
Cross-Section Rendering of State St. Subway
This 1941 sketch was one of the images published and is an artist’s rendering of what the State Street Subway, still under construction, might look like once opened. The view depicts a cross-section of the street, mezzanine and subway platforms and tubes with crowds of people filling sidewalks on State Street above as well as taking advantage of direct retail connections from the station complex.
The specific location depicted here (one can deduce the location easily, with the flagship The Fair store on the left and The Palmer House on the right) is a view looking north on State from Adams. The subway mezzanine in view is the Monroe-Adams mezzanine (still today an entrance to the Monroe station on the Red Line) and the train in the tunnel is drawn as a Shoppers’ Special–the name for certain express services run from several ‘L’ branches to the Loop, catering to mid-day shopping trips to downtown during that era.
Map showing the proposed pattern of citywide subways, the same system proposed in 1939.
Presented by the City of Chicago Department of Subways and Superhighways
Burton Holmes Films, Inc.
Map of Initial System of Subways with the State Street Subway completed and the Dearborn Subway partially completed.
Chicago Tribune March 29, 1943.
Run First Train Thru Subway But Regular Service Is Far Off
Chicago yesterday became a city with a subway.
At 3:18 p. m. a three car train headed by Car No. 4429 crept from its usual elevated tracks south of the Armitage avenue station and eased into the Clybourn-Division State street tube,
The train, made up of two passenger cars with a work car sandwiched between In case of trouble, carried newspaper men and about 150 men of the subway department and the Rapid Transit lines.
Before it came out of the ground one hour and 56 minutes later after a return trip to Jackson street, the train had proved that subway trains will be smooth riding and cool; the air will be only slightly damp, and passengers will be able to carry on conversations without shouting.
The night before the “Opening” of the State Street Subway at the Jackson-Van Buren stop. This test run was staged by Mayor Edward Kelly on March 28, 1943, just four days before the mayoral election.
Speedy Service Indicated,
A second trip indicated the subway will be speedy. The train crept along on its first trip, paced by engineers on foot who checked clearances. On the second it reached a speed of 30 miles an hour, going from Fullerton to Jackson in 14 minutes. That time, however, could be cut about a third because the subway expects to operate trains at 45 miles an hour.
Bernard J. Fallon, operating manager and trustee for the elevated lines, said the subway trip was a “nice ride” and that he was “very pleased,” but he declined to predict when subway trains would become a regular thing. The subway department said service would begin “shortly,” but declined to say if that meant one, two months or more.
The subway will be officially opened Friday and war bond buyers will get free rides Saturday between 1 and 11 p. m.
Electric current was turned Into the Clybourn.Division-State street subway at 12:45 p. in. yesterday.
The Subway Special.
March 28, 1943
No Champagne for Christening.
At 3:05 a conductors corps, dressed In their best, shouted “all aboard, subway special,” anti the three car train pulled out of the Wilson ave- nue elevated station. At the controls was Charles Blade, 1127 Newport avenue, an elevated lines motorman 29 years. Because Blade had never seen the inside of the subway, C. J. Beck, 4506 North Ashland avenue, who has spent much of the last two and a half years underground as a subway department electrical engi. neer, stood at Blade’s shoulder.
Women standing in their backyards waved as the train dipped into the ground. Kids lined the railings, A passenger shouted for a bottle of champagne to christen the subway but only a cask of drinking water had been brought along.
A few hundred feet inside the entrance, after reaching its normal depth of 40 feet, the subway tunnel splits Into two round bores dotted with lights their entire length. An occasional water seepage streak marred the white concrete lining.
Stations In Blue and Cream.
The south bound bore is complete as far as Jackson, except for stations and circular emergency stairways to be Installed In ventilation wells, Some track is still to be laid In the north-bound bore.
The stations, vith their light blue and cream tile walls, still lack some lighting fixtures and other equipment. In some stations escalators have been Installed but are not yet in operation.
A catwalk two feet wide parallels the track most of the way for emergency use and tube walls are dotted with signs pointing to nearest exits. Five-foot blowers guarantee fresh air. Automatic louvres keep out cold air in winter time. Heat will be provided only by train operations. The temperature yesterday was near freezing.
Three-quarter inch reclaimed rubber pads under the rails reduce vibration and noise, but when yesterday’s train hit 30 miles an hour it could be heard half a mile away.
The State Street Subway opened on October 17, 1943.
The first test run thru the State street subway. A stop at the Clark and Division street station. An escalator is visible at the right.
State Street Subway
Proposed Subway System