Early years of Chicago's 'L'
As the “L” carried Chicagoans to work and home for the past 121 years, its girders and beams provided a rusty picture frame for the city’s skyline and neighborhoods. Born of a simple idea — getting commuters above congested street traffic — the elevated rail line not only became emblematic of a no-nonsense industrial powerhouse, but also stitched Chicago together as the system branched into new neighborhoods.
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Construction started for the Lake Street elevated train tracks on Market Street, near Madison, in 1896.