January 30, 2002

The Chicago Transit Authority welcomed the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce as the newest participant in the CTA's Adopt-A-Station Program at the Cermak-Chinatown Station on the Red Line. Participating in the celebration were Chicago Transit Authority President Frank Kruesi and Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President Ray Spaeth.

The station features two tile murals with ?Welcome to Chinatown? written in both Chinese and English. Customers using the stairs or escalator will also be greeted by a pair of lion statues, called ?foo dogs," believed to protect against evil spirits, at the entrances. Garbage cans on the train platform are painted red and green with ?Welcome? written on the side in Chinese. Chinese artwork is also on display at the platform level.

Customers leaving the station will see Chinese masks hanging on the walls. These masks are based on characters from Chinese opera and theatrical productions.

The Chamber of Commerce had help from community volunteers in creating many of the artistic pieces at the station.

?Reaching out to the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce as well as other organizations through our Adopt-a-Station program, is another way for the CTA to interact with the communities it serves," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?By making stations more inviting, we also hope to attract new customers to public transit."

?Through the Adopt-a-Station program, stations are enhanced with the flavor of the local community and become more attractive to our customers," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?The nearly 20,000 people who use the Cermak-Chinatown Station every week will now get a greater feel for the Chinese culture."

?We?re delighted to be a participant in the CTA's Adopt-a-Station program and feel that this improvement will go a long way toward making Chinatown a major destination point for visitors to, and residents from, our great city," said Ray Spaeth, President of the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.

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.

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.

Some adopted stations include the Blue Line at 18th Street with paintings and murals reflecting the Mexican-American heritage in the Pilsen neighborhood. The Belmont Station serving the Brown and Red Lines was adopted by Ann Sather's Restaurant and features artwork celebrating that neighborhood's diversity. The Armitage and Paulina Stations on the Brown Line and the Randolph Elevated Station downtown have also been adopted. Currently, 14 community groups have adopted 27 CTA rail stations.

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