Tucked in the wall at the bottom of a Metra train station in Chicago’s Hyde Park community is a 124-year-old one-room building resting quietly in the shadow of super stores and townhouses – the last cable car station that survived Chicago’s cable car era (1882-1906).
In the small window that ushered in the cable car era, thousands of people hopped on the cable cars to shop in Hyde Park or to travel downtown to their jobs. But when the streetcar era came to a close in 1958 the cable car building succumbed to apathy and spiritlessness, eventually housing two restaurants and later being further reduced to a storage shed. In 1977 the Cable Car Building was rescued by the Hyde Park Historical Society, saving it from further doom.
The Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Hyde Park Historical Society has been given the opportunity to compete for a historic preservation grant to “Save the Cable Car Building.” These needed funds will preserve the Cable Car Building for future generations as one of the few structures still standing with connections to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The funds will also allow continued access to a museum and meeting space.
Partners in Preservation: Main Streets, is an initiative created by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to engage the public in preserving and increasing awareness of America’s historic places and their role in sustaining local communities. Main Streets has recognized 25 semi-finalist historic sites in the U.S. and Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood is the only semi-finalist in Illinois.
By clicking on the following link (http://voteyourmainstreet.org/hyde-park) or the link at the bottom of the Hyde Park Chamber’s and Hyde Park Historical Society’s Facebook pages the public will be able to vote to “Save the Cable Car Building” – it’s that simple. The neighborhoods with the most votes will win preservation funding grants provided by American Express. The public can vote up to five times a day but the voting ends October 31. Grant recipients will be announced November 2. https://www.facebook.com/hydepark-history/; https://www.facebook.comhydeparkchamber/.
For more information contact: Wallace Goode, Executive Director; Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce.