Transformational project improves the transit experience for Chicagoans and creates a strong focal point for the historic Washington Park community
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Dorval Carter today announced the completion of work on the Garfield Gateway project, which made a number of improvements to the historic Green Line station for the benefit of transit riders, bicyclists and pedestrians as well as for the surrounding community.
“The newly remodeled Garfield Green Line station has created an iconic gateway to the Washington Park community and boosted the development that’s already occurring here,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “By adding modern amenities and convenient features to this key station, we help promote further transformation of this neighborhood.”
The Garfield Green Gateway Project included extending the station’s platform canopies to provide more shelter; upgrading platform accessibility, improving elevators and escalators; and installing public art and landscaping to make the daily customer experience more pleasant.
“CTA Board Chairman Terry Peterson and I have made it a priority to increase the number of small and minority-owned businesses that work for the agency on these kinds of projects,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We also seek to engage the local community by hiring workers from the area whenever possible, further strengthening the proven impact a robust transit system has towards building thriving, economically-healthy communities.”
As CTA does with all projects, it worked with its contractor on the Garfield Green Gateway to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. Thanks to those efforts, CTA exceeded all of its goals for the project, attaining a minority hiring level of 63 percent and hiring 21 percent of its workforce from the surrounding neighborhood.
“Nearly 475,000 passengers rely on the Garfield Green Line station each year. The new enhancements, made possible by a federal TIGER grant, will help better serve these passengers and preserve the rich history of the Washington Park neighborhood,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said. “I am proud to have helped secure federal funding for this project and will continue to advocate for federal investments in Chicago’s public transit projects.”
“This project makes important improvements to ensure the Garfield station better serves Chicago’s residents and visitors and the people of the Washington Park neighborhood,” U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth said. “I will continue working to secure federal resources for investments like the Garfield Gateway Project that modernize our transportation infrastructure and create jobs in the community.”
The $43 million project rehabilitated the original Garfield station house, which was built in 1892 and located on the south side of Garfield Boulevard as part of what was that era’s public transit system to the famed World’s Columbian Exposition. Designated a City of Chicago landmark in 2001, the historic station was restored to its original turn-of-the century look by the Garfield Gateway Project. No longer in use by customers, this historic stationhouse now serves as a community space.
“Federal dollars have played a significant role in revitalizing the South Side of Chicago and addressing and providing solutions to improving the commuting experience of my constituents. I am encouraged to see that the Garfield Gateway Project helped spur economic opportunities for minority and neighborhood residents. I remain committed to advocating for additional funding that will benefit not only our local economy, but improve rider experience for the Washington Park neighborhood,” Congressman Bobby L. Rush said.
“It is our hope and expectation that this renovation will not only improve travel via CTA to, from and through the Garfield community, but will be a powerful catalyst for community development,” Congressman Danny K. Davis said. “We look forward to the investment in this rehab paying dividends for many decades to come.”
In addition to completely rehabbing the main stationhouse and the entrance to the station, the Garfield Gateway Project also includes visually enhanced architectural features embellished with new work by renowned Chicago artist Nick Cave.
The artist’s multi-disciplinary artwork was re-mixed into design patterns via various materials applied to key architectural components of the station such as the stationhouse mosaic ceiling, fused glass platform windbreaks, lenticular columns and the exterior of the station’s steel elevator towers.
This project is the latest in more than $8 billion of transit investments made by Mayor Emanuel and CTA since 2011 to improve Chicago’s neighborhoods and transit services.
For more information about the Garfield Gateway Project, please visit: transitchicago.com/garfieldgateway/