Station Will Close the Transit Gap and Better Serve the Growing Near West Side Community
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in unveiling the striking, modern design plans for the new CTA Damen Green Line station planned at Lake Street and Damen Avenue on the City’s Near West Side.
“Today the City moves a step closer to building a new community anchor for the residents of the Near West Side,” said Mayor Emanuel. "The new station will better serve those who live and work in the neighborhood and will become a gateway to further usher in economic growth for the area.”
The design plan is by Perkins Will, a global architecture and design firm known for innovative transit station projects from British Columbia to Chongqing City, China. The materials and design elements were chosen and arranged to enhance and simplify an intuitive user experience of the facility and to allow for a long-lasting transit facility with low-maintenance requirements.
“CDOT is excited to share the design for the new station with the near West Side community,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “This new state-of-the art, multi-modal transit station puts the ease of the passenger experience at the core of its design. It will allow users to seamlessly connect with buses, or to use bikes or walk to nearby destinations. It will support local neighborhood growth as well as have the capacity to serve large crowds attending events at the United Center.”
A grand stair and escalator, clearly visible through the station’s transparent glass façade, will guide arriving passengers up to the platform level. A glass bridge will facilitate connections between inbound and outbound train platforms while simultaneously celebrating the breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline and orienting visitors to the neighborhood destinations and attractions. The visible structure of the bridge provides a dynamic reference to Chicago’s iconic steel bridges and creates a memorable icon for the station.
The Damen station will be the fourth new Chicago CTA station added to the CTA rail system by Mayor Emanuel since 2011, and will serve a Near West Side community that has seen notable residential and commercial growth in recent years. It will improve public transit options for businesses and industries along the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, visitors to the United Center, and nearby residents, including tenants of the Chicago Housing Authority's Villages of Westhaven complex.
“This new station will give residents more transportation options and will open up more employment opportunities, making it easier for them to get to schools and improve their overall quality of life," said local Ald. Walter Burnett. "I am very pleased with the new design that will create a station our residents can be proud and of allow for future growth in our community."
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 more than 40 stations rebuilt or rehabbed.
Similar in-fill stations, or stations that close the gap between existing stations, were built at Morgan (Green and Pink lines, 2012) and Cermak-McCormick Place (Green Line, 2015). Last year, CDOT completed work on the striking new Washington/Wabash in the East Loop that created a modern, fully accessible gateway to Millennium Park and the lakefront.
“Investment in new and improved CTA stations has paid great dividends for communities across the City, and that will be especially true here at Damen,” CTA President Carter said. “This new station will provide a new, convenient and affordable transportation option to this community to make it easier for people to get to and from work, school and their other destinations. And like other new stations we’ve recently opened, such as those at Wilson and 95th Street, this new station will make a significant and lasting architectural statement and become a new community landmark.”
In April, CDOT began work on the reconstruction of a section of Lake Street that will prepare the intersection for the new CTA Green Line station. The Lake Street project will fully reconstruct a half-mile stretch of Lake Street from Ashland to Damen. It will improve access for trucks in the bustling Kinzie Industrial Corridor by increasing the vertical clearance under the tracks, and will also relocate structural columns that support the elevated tracks to accommodate the new station.
Design work will be continuing on the new station while CDOT carries out the reconstruction project on Lake Street. Work on the foundation for the new station is scheduled to start late this year, with work on the station house to start in the spring of 2019. The station is expected to open in 2020.
The Damen station is being funded through the Kinzie Industrial TIF.