Mayor Richard M. Daley joined CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett, CTA President Frank Kruesi and other officials Saturday to open a new 'L' station on the Green Line. The station is located at 3630 W. Lake Street, and will provide easy affordable access to the East Garfield Park community, directly to the north, and to the Park District's Gold Dome Field House to the south.
"The opening of this historic station is further proof of the CTA's commitment to providing riders with on-time, clean, safe, and friendly service for all riders," said Mayor Daley. ?Residents and visitors alike can see the continuing economic revitalization of the City's south and east sides."
The station has twin platforms for boarding eastbound and westbound trains. Elevators to both platforms provide full accessibility to customers with disabilities, and canopies offer protection from inclement weather.
The station houses and portions of the canopies on both platforms are historically preserved components from the former station at Homan (3400 West) that have been restored and improved for reuse at the new facility. Homan was one of the original stops on the Lake Street Elevated Railroad that was opened for service in 1893, when trains were pulled by steam locomotives.
"By carefully preserving elements of the station at Homan for reuse here, we?ve combined an important part of the past with the technological advances of the 21st Century 'L' service," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?This inviting facility will provide rail access to the community, academic activities at Lucy Flower Career Academy, cultural events at the Garfield Park Field House and flower shows at the Conservatory."
Besides elevators, each platform at the new station is served by two stairways. The primary entrances to the fare collection areas inside the station houses on both platforms are from the northwest and southwest corners of Lake and Conservatory - Central Park Drive. Customers with Transit Cards may also use the secondary entrances at the east end of the platforms that can be entered through high-barrier entry/exit gate turnstiles.
CTA President Kruesi said, "With the opening of this new station, we can look forward to another ridership boost for the Green Line, which has bounced back since it was closed for a two-year rehabilitation in 1994. Last year 5.7 million rides were taken on the Lake Street branch of the Green Line. That was 7.5 percent more than in 1999, and 43.8 percent more that the last full year before rehabbing began. Ridership for the Green Line as a whole reached 9 million last year, which was 6.6 percent higher than before the closing."
The new station, which is precisely half way between the Kedzie and Pulaski stations, has tactile edging on both platforms, and ADA graphics package, and audio-visual signs to alert customers when trains are approaching. Inside the fare collection area of each station house are two Transit Card Vending Machines, two standard turnstiles, including one that accepts coins, and a wheelchair gate turnstile for customers with disabilities.
Construction of the Conservatory ? Central Park Drive station was part of a competitively bid contract awarded to Walsh Construction Company of Chicago, and cost $7.1 million.# # #