Then and Now, Devon-Kedzie

1945–Devon Avenue @ Kedzie Avenue, view east

2015--the same location

2015–the same location

The streetcars in the 1945 photo are at the northern end of the Broadway-State line.  Most older streetcars could be operated from either end.  When a car reached the end of the line, it remained parked in the middle of the street.  To change directions, the roof-top trolley poles were switched and the passenger seats flipped.  Then the driver—called the motorman—moved his control handle to the opposite end of the car, and was ready to change tracks and head back in the other direction.

Buses replaced streetcars here in 1947.  In the decades since, the commercially-zoned vacant lots along Devon have been filled up.



2 Responses to “Then and Now, Devon-Kedzie”

  1. 1 Garry February 12, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Contrary to most people’s beliefs & website claims, 36 Broadway/State was the longest streetcar line here & possibly in the country. It ran from Devon/Kedzie to 119/Morgan which was longer that the 49 Western streetcar, which ran from Western/Birchwood [not Howard] & 119/Western.

    • 2 J.R. Schmidt February 12, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      I believe that the Western car line never went further south than 111th Street. When it was cut back to 79th Street, the bus replacement ran to 119th.

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