Home > Internet Sensation > Happy Birthday To The “L”: CTA system is 120 years old

Happy Birthday To The “L”: CTA system is 120 years old

(ChicagoMag)–EXCERPT FROM FIRST EVER ARTICLE ABOUT THE “L” IN 1892–And then the coaches. New York has never seen such gay ones as those put in service yesterday. They have an outside color of pale olive green, and inside they are finished in oak and cherry in natural colors. The seats are roomy and comfortable, with cushions, the ones at either end, running lengthways of the car, being divided by arm rests in cherry. Eight double seats are in the center of the car, the same as in an ordinary railroad coach. These have high backs, and between each there is a small mirror set in the side of the car between the windows. The windows are wide, and at present have the added novelty of opening easily. The doors are novelties in their way. They are of the double sliding pattern and when one is pushed back both open. The platforms are roomy and are provided with gates which are opened by the gateman when the cars come to a stop and closed and locked before the strain starts again. The ceilings of the coaches are decorated in a variety of ways. Some are of hardwoods, while others are covered with a coarse canvas fastened with large brass-headed tacks and colored dark blue, brown, and red. There are straps of the same pattern furnished by Mr. Yerkes. Everything about the line denotes solidity, and at the same time an attempt to make the equipment and the stations as handsome and convenient as possible. All the station houses so far completed are built underneath the track, though this will be impossible where the road runs in streets as it will south of Thirty-ninth street. They are of brick and terra cotta with all the woodwork in oak. One ticket seller and one collector will transact the ticket business for both north and south bound trains. The passengers coming in, pass the windows of the ticket office, then the ticket box where the tickets are dropped, and then go through a passage way to the stairs. At the head of the first landing the stairs divide, the one for the down town trains being on the east and the one for the south bound trains on the west side. The stations have a wainscoting of enameled brick to a height of six feet and are plastered above. The stairways have a graceful iron covering which extends above both platforms. A platform-man is stationed on each platform to keep the crowds moving aright and there is a janitor in service at each station. Toilet-rooms have been provided for men and women at each of the stations, except the one at Congress street, which is located in a building facing Congress and Wabash avenue.


Yep…happy birthday. This video kind of sums of the modern “L”.  Not a place in the city with a better chance of running into a complete lunatic.

PS: Keep antagonizing that crazy German-Australian chick who is 5’2″ and solid muscle, but I don’t want to hear you crying when you’re murdered.  It’s why I never make eye contact with anyone on the L.  Not worth the risk.


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