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A Brief History: Stone Avenue Station in La Grange

Built in 1901, this landmark in our village was built to out-shine—but pay homage to—a nearby depot.

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.

Kevin Cahill March 29, 2011 at 01:10 PM
These history updates are great, keep them coming!
Beth Palmer March 29, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Many more to come--tomorrow and next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Great work, Laurie!
Erik Bloecks March 29, 2011 at 09:34 PM
I have memories as a small child waiting for trains at that station or just watching them pass. I am glad to see it still staning today.
Betty Compton October 14, 2011 at 08:03 PM
My husband & I met under those arches!
Matthew Hendrickson (Editor) October 14, 2011 at 09:38 PM
What's the story there? Both waiting for a train to Chicago?
Nancy Chambers Kenney October 24, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Ever wonder why La Grange has two stations when most communities along the Burlington line have only one? The village of La Grange wanted two stations built at opposite ends of the town. The railroad thought a town the size of LG only needed one station (which would have been built between the two.) That response, not satisfying the village fathers who wanted the utmost in convenience for their citizens, caused Franklin Cossitt to commission the station at La Grange Road and David Lyman (Cossitt 's son - in - law and first village attorney) to commission the station at Stone Avenue.

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