The 95th Street 'L' Station on the CTA's Red Line was the venue as the Chicago Transit Authority welcomed the Coalition for Developing the 95th Street Corridor as the newest participant in the CTA's Adopt-A-Station Program. Joining Coalition and community leaders at the event were Mayor Richard M. Daley, CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett, CTA President Frank Kruesi and Katie Flowers who designed the mural on display at the station.
"I'm proud that the Coalition for Developing the 95th Street Corridor has stepped up and made a positive impact in this neighborhood," said Mayor Daley. "The entire city benefits when people come together and improve the quality of life of their neighbors."
In addition to this adoption, the station was renovated in June of 2001 at a cost of $8 million. Enhancements include a new elevator, wheelchair turnstiles, curb ramps and tactile edging, making the station accessible to customers with disabilities. There is also a new Customer Assistance kiosk, new platform floors and ceilings, new public address system, audio-visual signs, a Greyhound bus office, handrails for customer safety and heaters to keep customers warm during inclement weather. The renovations were funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).
The station was further enhanced when the Coalition for Developing the 95th Street Corridor adopted it. The coalition is dedicated to the economic and cultural development of the neighborhood served by the 95th Street Red Line Station. The mural that was created for the station is part of the coalition's street beautification project. Local artist Katie Flowers painted the mural which is representative of the community, including the local Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program and Chicago State University, that comprise the neighborhood served by the 95th Street Station.
"Not only does this community gain a renovated station, the station is enhanced with the flavor of the community, making it even more attractive to our customers," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "The nearly 83,000 customers who use the 95th Street Station every week will get to enjoy the neighborhood as depicted through this colorful mural thanks to our Adopt-A-Station program."
Adopt-A-Station is a CTA initiative launched in 1997 to develop partnerships between community organizations, local businesses and individuals. The goal of the program is to create rail stations that reflect the history and diversity of the communities served by the CTA and to position those stations as the gateway to the communities they serve. Stations are adopted for a period of two years.
"Reaching out to the coalition as well as other organizations through our Adopt-A-Station program is another way for the CTA to interact with the communities we serve," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "By increasing the visibility of our stations through this program the CTA hopes to attract new customers as well as provide an enhanced environment for our current customers. I also want to thank Mayor Richard M. Daley, Governor George Ryan and Illinois FIRST, U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and other Illinois lawmakers whose support of public transit, and the CTA in particular, have enabled us to make improvements throughout our system."
Adopting organizations are given an opportunity to enhance and revitalize the appearance of CTA rail stations by either commissioning local artists to create murals, sculptures, mosaics, paintings or photographs, or to help plan station improvements.
To date, 14 community groups have adopted 27 CTA rail stations. Some adopted stations include the Blue Line at 18th Street featuring paintings and murals reflecting the Mexican-American heritage in the Pilsen neighborhood and the Belmont Station serving the Brown and Red Lines which was adopted by Ann Sather's Restaurant and features artwork celebrating that neighborhood's diversity. In addition, the Cermak-Chinatown Station was adopted by The Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. The station features two tile murals with "Welcome to Chinatown" written in both English and Chinese. Chinese artwork is on display at the platform level and customers using the escalator or stairs are greeted by a pair of lion statues, called "foo dogs," believed to protect against evil spirits.
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