Dearborn Station was the oldest of the six intercity train stations serving downtown Chicago, Illinois during the heyday of rail in the twentieth century. Additionally, the station was used as a terminal for commuter traffic. Located at Dearborn and Polk Streets, it was also referred to as Polk Street Station. The station was owned by the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad, which itself was owned by the companies operating over its line.
The Romanesque Revival structure, designed by Cyrus L.W.Eidlitz, opened on May 8, 1885. The three-story building's exterior walls and twelve-story clock tower were composed of pink granite and red pressed brick topped by a number of steeply-pitched roofs. Modifications to the structure following a fire in 1922 included eliminating the original pitched roof profile. Behind the head house were the train platforms, shielded by a large train shed. Inside the station were ticket counters, waiting rooms, and one of the legendary Fred Harvey Company restaurants.
The station was closed on May 2, 1971 as the first step of Amtrak's consolidation of Chicago's remaining intercity train operations at Union Station. By 1976 Dearborn Station's trainshed was demolished and tracks were removed. However, the headhouse building escaped the fate of several other Chicago stations like Central Station and Grand Central Station, which were both demolished.
The train station stood abandoned into the mid 1980s when it was converted to retail and office space. The former rail yards provided the land that is now known as Dearborn Park. This Chicago urban community is one of the nation's most successful urban renewal projects and comprises several parks, an elementary school, high rise and mid rise apartment towers, townhomes and single family homes. Today Dearborn Station remains as a landmark that is reminiscent of the railroad era but is now the focal point for a dynamic residential neighborhood.
Note: Although the Santa Fe by far operated the greatest number of trains from the station, it was only a tenant.
The following commuter rail services also operated from the station: