Built in 1931, the ComEd substation at 626 E. 40th Street once provided power for the now-defunct Kenwood L line. Designated as possessing potential significance in the context of the surrounding community during the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, the substation’s demolition permit reached the end of its 90-day hold on January 31, 2019. ComEd has not yet confirmed its intentions for this site. Without intervention, Bronzeville could lose another beautiful monument to its rich history. Preservation Chicago is actively engaging in conversations with ComEd, the community and decisionmakers to save this historic building and return it to a vibrant use.
We urge ComEd to halt the demolition of its Herman von Volst-designed substation at 626 E. 40th Street in Chicago and work with the community and neighborhood leaders to find a preservation-sensitive use for the historic building.
Crain’s Chicago Business published an op-ed in where an elevated linear trail similar to the 606 is proposed for the South Side on abandoned railway embankments. It suggest that this ComEd substation as an access point and park space.
A 606 for the South Side; A former elevated railway on the South Side vacated decades ago provides the opportunity for a 606 encore, converting the old Kenwood CTA line into Chicago’s newest park—a much-needed amenity for the underserved South Side. Andre Brumfield, Crain’s Chicago Business, 4/3/19