Gage Park Neighborhood Has a Blue Light Special on Freight Trains

With Kmart stores disappearing faster than hand sanitizer at Target, it’s not surprising that Stephanie Coleman is tired of Planned Development 614 camping out at 59th and Western, blue light extinguished, and not very special at all.

59th and Wstern in Gage Park, with the intermodal yard in the foreground (via Apple Maps)
59th and Wstern in Gage Park, with the intermodal yard in the foreground (via Apple Maps)

The 16th Ward Alderman is trying to get PD 614 deleted from the city’s zoning regulations, and replace it with a nice B3-1, all bright and full of potential.

PD 614 was created in 1996, when was a small bookseller, “search engine” meant Lycos, and our phone bills came from Ameritech.  It was carved out of the Gage Park neighborhood to help bring a new strip mall to the area, anchored by what is described in city documents as a “Sears/K-Mart.”  

Obviously, that didn’t happen.  But now, a mere quarter century later, something might.  The property has been bought by CSX Transportation, which is expected to expand its adjacent intermodal terminal.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing may hinge on your views of rail yards, diesel exhaust, freight train noise, vacant land, and tax revenue.  

Location: 2101 West 59th Street, Gage Park


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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