New Stationhouse Marks Major Milestone in $203 million Wilson Station Reconstruction Project; Will Provide Riders with a Faster, Easier and More Convenient Experience
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. today opened the new main stationhouse as part of the $203 million reconstruction of the Wilson Red Line station and adjacent tracks. The opening marks a major milestone in the transformational project for the Uptown community and is a significant investment in enhancing rail service for customers.
“Our investment in the Wilson Station is the latest in our work to deliver a 21st Century transit system for all of Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel, “By rebuilding this station, we are investing in this historic and vibrant neighborhood, creating new jobs in the community, and ensuring a modern and reliable transit system for Chicago’s residents.”
“Today, we are able to provide our customers with a more modern, convenient and pleasant station,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “By completely renovating the Wilson station, we are better serving the Uptown community and playing in part in generating new development and new jobs.”
New enhancements at Wilson for CTA customers include:
- The new main stationhouse, located on the south side of Wilson Avenue, is equipped with two elevators, two escalators, wider stairwells and additional turnstiles, making the station fully accessible to customers with disabilities as well as providing more convenient and comfortable service
- A second new, modern station entrance is now open on the north side of Wilson.
- Purple Line Express service at the new station, which allows riders to easily transfer between Red and Purple Line trains for the first time
- New art in the main stationhouse by world-renowned engineer, architect and artist Cecil Balmond
- The opening of a second new, much larger platform from which to board northbound trains
- Relocated track columns at street and sidewalk level to greatly improve visibility for pedestrians as well as vehicular and bicycle traffic.
The mayor and CTA today unveiled public artwork that was created especially for the station by Cecil Balmond, a world-famous artist, designer, and engineer known for his large-scale public art installations around the world.
The artwork, known as Arpeggios, is a multi-faceted sculpture suspended from the main stationhouse enhanced by a reflective wall and LED lighting. Customers moving through the turnstiles will notice the strong geometric shapes of the artwork as light is reflected to create the feel of continuous movement. The artwork celebrates the 1920’s Art Deco style found in Uptown’s historic architecture, and echoes the look of the Gerber Building across the street, which is currently undergoing reconstruction.
This newly rebuilt station will serve as an economic engine for the historic Uptown neighborhood, where new developments and businesses have been announced or launched near the Wilson station since the project began construction in 2014.
“The newly rebuilt Wilson Station has already made an incredibly positive impact on the Uptown neighborhood,” Alderman James Cappleman said. “We’ve seen a number of new businesses open close to the station as well as several residential developments planned as a result of this project.”
The majority of the funding for the project was provided by the State of Illinois.
“The Illinois Department of Transportation is proud to have partnered on a project that shows the value of investing in our state’s great cities and communities,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said. “This redeveloped station will enhance the quality of life for the people who use it, while creating economic opportunity in the surrounding area for years to come.”
The project will be fully complete in January 2018. Between now and then, the CTA will complet4e remaining components of the Wilson project, including:
- CTA will open a third station entrance on Sunnyside Avenue.
- Full restoration of the historic Gerber Building at Broadway and Wilson, which was built in 1923. CTA is currently seeking a tenant for the iconic building.
The Wilson project is part of Mayor Emanuel’s “Red Ahead” program to revitalize the entire Red Line, CTA’s busiest rail line that forms the backbone of Chicago’s transit system. Other Red Line projects under way include the Red and Purple Modernization Program, the new 95th Street Terminal, and the proposed extension of the Red Line south to 130th Street.
For more information about the Wilson project, visit transitchicago.com/wilson.