On May 27, 1892, the Windy City’s first elevated railway, the steam-powered Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad, a.k.a. the “Alley ‘L,’ ” rumbled into action, leaving from a downtown station at 550 South Holden Court, a glorified alley between State Street and Wabash Avenue. The rail earned the “Alley ‘L’ ” nickname because its tracks were erected above city-owned alleys to bypass an 1872 law requiring signatures from adjacent property owners to build along streets. Some 300 VIPs boarded the six-car train for the 3.6-mile maiden voyage to the spartan 39th Street terminal. There, a dining car was added so food could be served to the bigwigs on the return trip. Public service commenced soon after, with trains running as frequently as every 2.5 minutes for the 5-cent, 14-minute trip. The downtown station was decommissioned in 1949, and a parking garage was built around it in the ’50s; in 1998 both structures were demolished to make way for a surface lot.