From 1879-1985, this was the location of the Milwaukee Road Shops. The enormous complex made railcars and locomotive for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific Railroads. The Shops included carpentry, metal forging, machine assembly, welding and painting facilities.
Originally located near 6th and Florida streets, the railroad created 60 acres of land by moving the Menomonee River and filling in the Valley Wetlands from 27th Street all the way to 44th Street. The Shops eventually spanned 160 acres.
Workers build and maintained the engines and cars for the Milwaukee Road. In 1907, workers at the Shops build 10 locomotives per month and 28 freight cars per day. By 1937, the Shops had made 668 locomotives and nearly 67,000 freight cars.
As trucks and airplanes became the primary transportation for people and freight, rail use declined. The Shops closed in 1985, and today only two smokestacks remain.