Over the years, buildings in La Grange have been built and eventually torn down to make way for bigger, better, or more efficient buildings. One that still remains since its construction in 1901 is the 701 W. Burlington Ave. It’s a beautiful building that is rich with early La Grange history, which the volunteers at the , 444 S. LaGrange Road, relayed to me.
The first train to pass through La Grange in 1864 actually originated in Aurora. The Aurora Branch Rail Road was built at the cost of one million dollars with the original stop, a milk stop just west of Brainard Avenue called Hazel Glen. It was moved in 1868 to a settlement on Brainard. Commuter service started in 1869.
In 1901, David Lyman built Stone Avenue Station at its current location—the consturction cost $10,375 at the time. It was designed by the engineering staff of the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Rail Road—they gained inspiration from the Kenilworth Depot, which had been erected over a decade earlier. The building still stands today at Kenilworth Avenue between Green Bay Road and Richmond Road.
Stone Avenue Station was built from limestone that came from a local quarry just miles from the station. The Kenilworth Depot had two massive stone arches, and in an attempt to outdo the building that was the inspiration, the arches were doubled to four, giving it a symmetrical composition. Originally, the station had an elaborate sign jutting from the building, which mimicked the Kenilworth building. Eventually the sign was taken down, but the Kenilworth sign is still part of the Kenilworth Depot.
Our train station might not have a coffee shop in it and be new and modern, but more than 100 years later, it still stands and provides charm to our village and was designated a village landmark in 1971.