Encyclopedia o f Chicago

Historical Sources : Bound Volume
Historical Source
Petition to Illinois Central Railroad, 1891

Petition to Illinois Central Railroad, 1891
With this petition, the residents of Prairie Avenue joined several ongoing efforts to impose restrictions on the Illinois Central Railroad. As the petition reveals, several had to do with the environmental effects of the heavy railroad traffic on the city and its residents. Equally important was the effort to reclaim the city's waterfront from the railroad, an effort made successful by the 1892 U. S. Supreme Court decision Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. State of Illinois, 146 U.S. 387 (1892). That decision established the public trust doctrine in the United States and led to the city's eventual ownership of much of the lakefront.