|Illinois Central Railroad north from Harrison Street toward Van Buren Street Station and Viaduct, 1896
In 1852, the city encroached on the dedicated public land by granting the Illinois Central Railroad Company (ICRC) a right of way to lay tracks over the submerged land east of the shoreline and to construct a breakwater to protect its property. The city subsequently filled in the space between the shoreline and under the tracks transforming it into solid ground. When the ICRC attempted to claim that it owned this land, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that though the railroad maintained a perpetual right of way over the ground for its tracks, the city had the right to control the submerged land east of the shoreline and the power to construct thereon public landing places, wharves, docks, and levees.
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