Aug 24, 2022 - News

Where's Monica? The Kimball L station

People sit on functional sculptures at the Kimball L Station
Passengers rest on a functional sculpture called Hope and Renewal at the Kimball station. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

👋 Hey, it's Monica. Dozens of you guessed correctly that I was visiting the Kimball L stop at the end of the Brown Line, where I spent many a high school winter night shivering and waiting for a bus.

Flashback: The station opened as part of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad's Ravenswood branch in 1907 when Albany Park was still barely developed.

The area soon had so many families that the city built Roosevelt High School in 1922, followed by Von Steuben less than a mile away in 1930.

  • The station got its first makeover in 1974 and another in 2007 when this functional tandem sculpture by Josh Garber, called Hope and Renewal, was unveiled.
  • Albany Park, which has hosted waves of different immigrant groups over the years, remains one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the nation.

👏 Congratulations to Brian E. and Frank S., whose names we picked out of a conductor's hat. Pick up some sweet Axios swag at our next event!

Musical miracle: Reader and Chicago Symphony Orchestra bassoonist William B. wrote to say he will always remember the Kimball station as a place of utter relief after he accidentally left his bassoon on the train.

  • After realizing the mistake, "I drove to the station, where I found another rider who had retrieved the instrument and was wandering around the station trying to figure out what to do with it."
  • William gave the Good Samaritan, "all the cash in my and my husband’s wallets, along with a promise of free concert tickets for him and his girlfriend."
  • The couple took him up on the offer and "saw their first orchestra concert ever."
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