Dearborn Station head house, 2006
|Location||47 West Polk Street|
|Architect||Cyrus L. W. Eidlitz|
|Architectural style||Romanesque Revival|
|NRHP reference #||76000688|
|Added to NRHP||March 26, 1976|
|Designated CL||March 2, 1982|
Dearborn Station (also referred to as Polk Street Station) was the oldest of the six intercity train stations serving downtown Chicago, Illinois. Located at Dearborn and Polk Streets, adjacent to Printers Row, the station was owned by the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad, which itself was owned by the companies operating over its line. The station is now a shopping mall housing office, retail and entertainment space.
The Romanesque Revival structure, designed by Cyrus L. W. Eidlitz, opened May 8, 1885 at a cost of $400 to $500 thousand (equivalent to $11.2 to $13.9 million in 2019). The three-story building's exterior walls and twelve-story clock tower were composed of pink granite and red pressed brick topped by a number of steeply-pitched roofs. Modifications to the structure following a fire in 1922 included eliminating the original pitched roof profile. Behind the head house were the train platforms, shielded by a large train shed. Inside the station were ticket counters, waiting rooms, and Fred Harvey Company restaurants.
Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) chose to consolidate its Chicago operations at the Union Station. The final intercity passenger train to depart Dearborn Station was the Grand Trunk Western Railroad's International Limited, which departed on April 30, 1971. The arrival of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway's San Francisco Chief and Grand Canyon from California on May 2 brought intercity operations at Dearborn to a close. The Norfolk & Western Railway's Orland Park commuter service, the Orland Park Cannonball, continued to use a platform at Dearborn until 1976.
By 1976, Dearborn Station's train shed was demolished and tracks were removed; the head house building was retained. The train station stood abandoned into the mid-1980s when it was converted to retail and office space. The former rail yards were converted for use as Dearborn Park.
As of 1920 the Dearborn Station served as a terminal for 25 railroads, serving 17,000 passengers daily on 122 trains. Some of the railroad that served the station include the following, with some of the more well-known name trains listed:
The following commuter rail services also operated from the station:
|Preceding station||Erie Railroad||Following station|
toward Jersey City
toward Jersey City
|Preceding station||Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway||Following station|
toward Los Angeles
|Preceding station||Grand Trunk Western Railroad||Following station|
|Terminus||Main Line||47th Street|
toward Port Huron
|Preceding station||Wabash Railroad||Following station|
|Bement - Chicago||Terminus|
|Terminus||Chicago - Toledo||47th Street|
Dearborn Station is mentioned multiple times in the 1974 "Adam's Ribs" episode of M*A*S*H, in which Hawkeye Pierce craves the barbecued ribs from a fictional restaurant adjacent to the station, but can't recall the name. He calls the station master from South Korea to get the restaurant's name and phone number. He incorrectly calls it the "Dearborn Street Station".