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Grossdale Train Station

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 14 June 2016 in Architecture and Portfolio.

The Grossdale Station is the oldest intact station on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) commuter line. It was built in 1889 for $5,000 by real estate developer Samuel Eberly Gross. Besides developing Grossdale, he was responsible for a number of other real estate developments, primarily in Chicago.

Samuel Gross gave people free train rides to his new subdivision and met the arriving groups with a band. He then plied them with hot dogs and lemonade while he made his pitch. He is believed to have spoken to the crowds from the station's front balcony. He sold considerable land during the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, the year Grossdale was incorporated. Gross also developed East Grossdale and West Grossdale, constructing train stations in each. These buildings were gone by 1979, and the areas are now known as Brookfield's Hollywood and Congress Park sections, respectively.

In 1905, the village changed its name from Grossdale to Brookfield. However, the name Grossdale remained on the stations, which were all owned by Gross. The stations were bought by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad for $25,000, and the name change took place in 1907.

In 1941, the Brookfield station was extensively remodeled. Separate women's and men's waiting rooms were combined, and the ticket office was moved. The stairs to the second floor station master's apartment were moved to the outside. The canopy was cut back and the stone post bases removed. Also taken down was the gingerbread trim beneath the canopy, and the ornamental fretwork above the gables. Most of the original charm was removed.

From July 31 to August 6, 1968, the station was once again called the Grossdale Station in commemoration of the village's 75th anniversary.

By 1977, the Burlington wished to demolish and replace the station. Through the efforts of the Brookfield Historical Society, the brick building was purchased in 1981 and moved across the railroad tracks to its current location.

The station was saved from the wrecking ball, but this was just the beginning. Innumerable hours were expended by volunteers and contractors, some of whom only charged for materials. A museum was established, and the station master's apartment was re-decorated with period furniture and accessories. The second floor side windows were restored and new eyebrow windows installed. The balcony, where Gross delivered his speeches, was restored. The canopy was extended, and decorative gingerbread attached. Probably the largest project was replacement of slate roof tiles. This project was funded through a grant.

Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The exterior appearance is similar to that of 1889. Major exceptions are the missing stone bases around the porch pillars, and the lack of decorative fretwork on the roof.

Photo captured May 29, 2016.

NIKON D7000 1/90 second F/27.0 ISO 1600 45 mm (35mm equiv.)

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tataray from Charentes-Poitou, France

Bel ensemble, superbe cadrage. )

14 Jun 2016 5:52am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Always good to see the past preserved like this . . so much gets forgotten in the rush for the Future.

14 Jun 2016 6:54am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

What a nice building, well captured

14 Jun 2016 9:34am

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

Nice capture of this beautiful building.

14 Jun 2016 9:35am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Marvelous piece of history and superb image. Good to learn about the success of the restoration project.

14 Jun 2016 9:46am

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Wow...Very beautiful !

14 Jun 2016 9:56am

martine Libouton from Bousval, Belgium

Une belle photo!!

14 Jun 2016 12:42pm

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Beautifully maintained

14 Jun 2016 12:45pm

Don from Spokane, United States

A fine picture of this stylish train station.

14 Jun 2016 2:45pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

The restoration seems have returned the station to most of its early charm. Superb photo.

14 Jun 2016 4:29pm

ruthiebear from Titusville, United States

I like the beautiful light and fine details

14 Jun 2016 6:39pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice shot!
such beautiful composition, colors, lights & textures!

14 Jun 2016 7:20pm

Remus from Portugal

On your side of the world, you recover and restore historic buildings, we over here, most of the time, we leave them to the decay. When someone note, the buildings alredy are in complete ruin...

Beautiful Train Station and nice capture.

14 Jun 2016 8:06pm

Baldwin VW from Bejuma, Venezuela

It's nice to see this old Train Station so well preserved ... Great shot and very interesting info. !!!

14 Jun 2016 8:52pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Beautiful place and interesting history.

14 Jun 2016 9:12pm

Sam from Chennai, India

Wonderful image of this historic building. And interesting information. Good to see the well maintained monuments. Excellent presentation. :)

14 Jun 2016 11:24pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Such a gorgeous building. Thanks to the Brookfield Historical Society for saving it. A wonderful narrative and interesting history. This is a beautiful building. A gorgeous image Steven!

15 Jun 2016 1:53am

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

a slice of Chicagoland history that I had never heard of. And a nice photo of it, so well preserved.

15 Jun 2016 3:06am

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Quelle maison et bâtisse cossue dans ce bau parc superbe vue.

15 Jun 2016 3:20am

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

What a wonderful train station. Ours looks boring in comparison.

15 Jun 2016 4:47am

L'Angevine from Angers, France


15 Jun 2016 12:42pm

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Very well preserved. Excellent shot

21 Jun 2016 7:33am

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Toronto, NYC, Canada

The story is so worth the read, I most wish it was a home today instead of a
museum but glad it is there, beautiful photo to presents its story !~

28 Jun 2016 8:39am

claudine/canelle from Lorient, France

J'aime vraiment beaucoup on se croirait dans un film et non cela existe vraiment !
Merci à toi

1 Jul 2016 5:58am

Roland-T from Loverval, Belgium

Wonderful home, good photo!

7 Jul 2016 12:49pm