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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Ghost Depot: 1911

Ghost Depot: 1911

Circa 1911-1915. "Chicago train sheds, Chicago & North Western Railway." Barely discernible in the foreground and along the right of this time exposure: dozens of disembodied legs, faintly indicating the presence of one or more people in motion. Also note the baggage-handling equipment, and the cart on its elevator. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

The Reel Thing

That's what it looks like, electric power for the cars after being disconnected from the locomotive and power cars. Those would be taken to the Roundhouse and Service Line, respectively, to be serviced in between runs.

Ogilvie Center

I took my camera to the Loop this morning. The second shot is approximately the same view as the Shorpy photo. The first photo shows the exterior - the trains are on the 2nd floor above Washington Street.

The 42-story Citicorp Center (née Northwestern Atrium Center) replaced the 1911 terminal building in the mid-1980s.

Regarding the cleanliness - the station was built in 1911, so the Shorpy photo depicts a shiny brand-new station.

I just love this photo

I love it when you click on a pic and it just keeps getting bigger, clearer, better...

Definitely a First-Class post.

Ogilvie Station

My wife, who recently retired after going through there twice a day for 15 years, says "God help you if you get in a cab and ask for Ogilvie Center." Tracks 3 and 4 usually run out the west line.

The Reel Thing

The device hanging from the ciling that looks like some kind of electrical plug on two cables, on a reel. What is it? "Shore power" for the train lights?

And Now +1

Anonymous Tipster is right on. I'm in this station twice a day as I commute to my office in Chicago and this spot looks truly the same today. Incredible detail.

Although the name was changed to the Ogilvie Station a few years ago, most Chicagoans still refer to this as the "Northwestern Station."

Wonderful

Okay, I keep coming back and looking at this. Love the ghostly figures--wonderful stuff.

And now

This particular section of what is now called Ogilvie Station looks very much the same today.

Cropping improves it

Cropping most of the upper half and a bit off the bottom creates a very dramatic and mysterious vision.

Very High Tech

for 1904

Clean

I am amazed at the cleanliness of the place. This is a railway station, for heaven's sake ! ... Think about the coal powered locomotives, the careless passengers, the overwhelming vendors ... And not a stray paper in sight.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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