September 27, 2002

The Chicago Transit Authority today announced that it has received the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) Innovation Award for the Conservatory-Central Park Drive station on the Green Line. The award was presented at APTA's Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

Adjacent to the Garfield Park Conservatory, the station opened in June 2001. Features include an escalator and elevators to make the station accessible to customers with disabilities, audio-visual signage, a Customer Assistant kiosk, public address system and canopy to provide protection from inclement weather.

The Conservatory-Central Park Drive station, which has been restored to reflect its original 1893 design, was taken apart at its former location at Homan Avenue, one of the original stops on the Lake Street Elevated Railroad. Components were moved two blocks west to Central Park Drive where the historic pieces were integrated into the construction. The restoration was part of an agreement between the CTA and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency which had designated the station eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

"By incorporating elements of the former Homan station, we have combined an important part of the past with the technological advances of state-of-the-art rail service," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "The station complements the surrounding landmark buildings -- the Garfield Park Conservatory and the Garfield Park Field House -- located in the park. The station provides both form and function for the community."

"This station was one of the most expansive restorations on our system. The challenge of incorporating the existing materials as well as replicating original works added to the complexity of the task," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "The ceiling and wooden interior were recreated and the iron work including decorative reliefs, hand rails and canopy supports were recast. Recognizing our efforts with this award reinforces the CTA's mission of delivering quality, affordable transit services that link people, jobs and communities."

Each year the Innovation Award is presented to a public transportation system that has designed and implemented specific programs demonstrating innovative concepts. Past award winners include the New Jersey Transit Corporation, New York City Transit, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

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