October 22, 2002

The Chicago Transit Authority today welcomed the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance as the newest participant in the CTA's Adopt-A-Station Program. The Conservatory Alliance has adopted the Conservatory-Central Park Drive 'L' Station on the CTA's Green Line that sits just half-a-block from the Conservatory entrance. CTA President Frank Kruesi, Chicago Park District General Superintendent David Doig and representatives from the Chicago Park District, Conservatory, and community leaders were on hand for the celebration.

The Conservatory Alliance has contributed artwork to the station that depicts various recreational activities offered by Garfield Park and its Gold Dome field house, as well as images based on the plant collections in the Conservatory and Dale Chihuly's ?Garden of Glass? exhibit. The bases of the station elevators and some of the station's support columns are decorated with mosaics created by a group of teens from Chicago's West Side who worked under the direction of Carolyn Elaine from Chicago Public Art Group.

In addition to the opportunity to create public art, the teens received training in job preparedness and self-esteem under the direction of the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development. BP America Inc., The National Endowment for the Arts, Gallery 37 and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs supported the project.

"This new station has had a positive impact on the neighborhood. It is now enhanced by these colorful mosaics making it even more attractive to the 4,400 customers who use this station each week," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?The entire city benefits when people come together and create such beautiful gateways to our neighborhoods."

?Teaming up with the Conservatory and other organizations through our Adopt-A-Station program is one way the CTA interacts 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."

?Access to the Conservatory and neighborhood has been a vital tool in helping people rediscover both Garfield Park and the Conservatory," said David Doig,General Superintendent of the Chicago Park District. ?The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance has been a crucial link bringing the Conservatory and community together just as this CTA station has brought greater Chicago to the West Side."

?The CTA adoption program is really significant at this point and time in the life of the Conservatory," said Eunita Rushing, Executive Director of the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance. ?As our gardens continue to blossom inside and outside the building, the Conservatory-Central Park Drive Station is decorated in a way that lets our neighbors and CTA riders know the entire area is growing greener together."

The Conservatory-Central Park Drive Station opened on June 30, 2001. The station serves local residents, visitors to the Garfield Park Conservatory and the Garfield Park Field House and students and staff from Lucy Flower Career Academy. Ridership on the Lake Street Branch alone has grown by more than 52 percent since 1993, the last full year of service before the Green Line was closed for renovation. Annual ridership for the Green Line as a whole reached 9,445,726 last year.

Last month the CTA received an Innovation Award from the American Public Transit Association for featuring some of the historic components that made up the former Homan Station in its construction. By incorporating the original station houses at Homan Avenue into the design of the station at Conservatory-Central Park Drive, the CTA was able to preserve the historic character of the station in a new accessible facility in the same Garfield Park area.

Amenities at the station include two elevators and wheelchair turnstiles, making the station accessible to customers with disabilities. There is also a Customer Assistant kiosk and platform canopies with overhead heating to keep customers comfortable during inclement weather.

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 gateways 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.

Currently, 15 community groups have adopted 26 CTA rail stations. Earlier this year three stations on the Red Line were adopted. They include the Cermak-Chinatown Station that was adopted by the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and features Chinese artwork and statues. The Sheridan Station was adopted by the Live Bait Theater and is a visual tribute to Chicago writers. Murals feature a short literary quote inspired by Chicago and public transportation. The 95th Street Station was adopted by the Coalition for Developing the 95th Street Corridor and features a mural incorporating many of the businesses and community groups that comprise the neighborhood served by the station.

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