Mayor Emanuel, CTA Announces Completion of Transformational Wilson Station Reconstruction Project

February 5, 2018

CTA completes final milestone of $203 million project; Wilson station has created hundreds of jobs and spurred new development in Uptown; restored Gerber building will serve as community anchor

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. today announced the completion of the Wilson Station Reconstruction Project, which has entirely transformed a nearly 100-year-old station in Uptown into a modern rail station and centerpiece for the community, stimulating economic development and creating hundreds of new jobs.

“The Wilson Station Reconstruction Project will create better service for CTA customers and greater economic opportunities for the Uptown community,” Mayor Emanuel said. “In neighborhoods across the city, we are reconstructing the CTA with unprecedented investments and reshaping it to meet the needs of a world-class transit system.”

The Wilson station project is the latest in a series of investments made as part of the Mayor’s “Red Ahead” initiative, which is improving Chicago’s busiest rail line. Wilson is now a signature station with a modern design and provides a comfortable, convenient commuting experience for customers. The station is also now fully accessible to customers with disabilities.

The project is the latest in more than $8 billion of transit investment announced, completed or under way by Mayor Emanuel and CTA since 2011, including a number of station and track projects on the Red Line.

The final milestone of this project, which began in 2014, is the completion of the restoration of the historic Gerber building at Broadway and Wilson, which was built in 1923.

Designed by architect Arthur Gerber, the building had served as the station’s main entrance for decades.  CTA completely repaired and faithfully restored the station’s exterior and recreated its historic clock and parapet wall, which had been removed decades ago.

The revitalized Gerber Building will serve as a viable commercial space for the Uptown community. The CTA is currently seeking a tenant for the space.

“The new Wilson station will provide an improved commuting experience for the more than 1.7 million people who use the station each year, and is an example of what our upcoming Red and Purple Modernization Program will do for other stations along the Red Line,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said. “We thank the Uptown community for their support of this project and for their patience during construction, and we look forward to serving local residents and visitors in and to this vibrant neighborhood.”

“We are seeing a tremendous, positive impact on the Uptown community because of this newly rebuilt station,” Alderman James Cappleman said. “We continue to see new businesses, jobs and development planned or occurring now as a result of this new station, which has contributed to the excitement about the future of this community.”

Features of the new station include:

  • Replaced outdated station with a spacious, light-filled and attractive station with Red-Purple Line transfer point; three entrances; escalators and elevators; security cameras; and real-time Train and Bus Tracker
  • Large platforms and architectural glass platform canopies that provide greater weather protection
  • New artwork in the main stationhouse from world-renowned artist, designer & engineer Cecil Balmond
  • New, quieter track structure that replaces century-old structure that was more than 100 years old and removes unsightly structural columns from Broadway Avenue to improve traffic sightlines and street-level pedestrian environment.

One of the largest projects in CTA history, the new Wilson station is already a catalyst for economic development in the Uptown neighborhood. This includes the opening of several new small businesses that are creating new jobs in the community, as well as new residential developments announced or under way near the Wilson station. Additionally, the project created more than 550 construction jobs.

To learn more about the Wilson station, visit transitchicago.com/Wilson.

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