Photos: This Treasure Trove Of Vintage CTA Images Is Grade-A Transit Porn

By Stephen Gossett in News on Mar 9, 2017 7:00PM

1941: Streetcar Trestles / Courtesy of CTA

The Chicago Transit Authority and the 'L' system itself are both celebrating big milestones this year, with the CTA turning 70 and the 'L' marking its 125th anniversary. We'll let you insert your own jokes about aging, modernization-thirsty infrastructure here because, thanks to a bevy of gorgeous, vintage photos that the transit authority is sharing to mark the anniversaries, we're feeling pretty swoon-y and civic-prideful about the CTA right now.

As part of a larger celebration, which will eventually bring a series of promos, events and giveaways, the CTA this week started diving deep into its photo archives and splashing its Instagram and Flickr feed with irresistible retro-transit images. From streetcars pushing up and down State St. in the '40s to the strikingly modernist-era design of a '50s Damen stop entrance to the Market Street terminal, in front of the Civic Opera Building, in 1930, they're indeed quite the throwback ride.

“For 70 years, Chicagoans have turned to the CTA to get them where they’ve needed to go,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. in a release. “Our 70th anniversary gives us the chance to not only look back at our proud history, but also to look ahead to the improvements and investments we’re making to serve customers for another 70 years.”

The CTA will offer more details about anniversary events—including a special commemoration to mark the 125th anniversary of the ‘L,' on June 6—in the future. In the meantime, enjoy a slice of history below, and definitely give 'em a follow on Instagram, if you haven't already.