glen ellyn downtown north historic district

Drive along historic rail lines almost anywhere in the greater Chicago area and you’re likely to find one of these: a commercial district consisting of locally-owned shops and cafes.

Union Pacific built the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad through Glen Ellyn (today a suburb 27 miles west of Chicago) in 1849, and commercial buildings started dotting streets some 50 years later.

There is Paul’s Shoe Service on N. Main. In operation since the 1940s.

A more contemporary gourmet specialty shop a bit further north.

And then my favorite find: 480A N. Main–the thinnest sliver of a building I’ve laid eyes on. 480A was constructed in 1900 and currently houses a bake shop.

8 thoughts on “glen ellyn downtown north historic district”

  1. Love it.

    On Sun, Aug 22, 2021, 9:57 PM must love biscuits wrote:

    > Kristen Short posted: ” Drive along historic rail lines almost anywhere in > the greater Chicago area and you’re likely to find one of these: a > commercial district consisting of locally-owned shops and cafes. Union > Pacific built the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad through Gl” >

  2. Lovely, Kristen! Even in a city like Chicago you can find old “Main Street” areas. These pockets of homes, businesses, and cultural activities make for scalable and sustainable living. I’m happy to support them when I can.

    1. So glad you enjoyed this post, Matt! Agree 100% that you can find these Main Street areas just about anywhere. In the suburbs they tend to be by old railway lines (at least as far as I can tell).

  3. Did you try anything at the bakeshop? I don’t recall ever seeing a food establishment operate in such a narrow space.

    Your photos are great! I really feel like you capture a sense of the location, not just an image! Well done you!

    1. Hi, Dave! Thanks for the kind compliments! So happy to hear you like the photos. I didn’t get anything to eat at the bake shop, but I’d love to see how a customer manages getting a large sheet cake out of there. 🙂

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