The CTA broke ground Friday on a $50 million renovation project that promises to make “major improvements” to the Garfield Green Line station.
Dubbed the Garfield Gateway Project, the overhaul will include extending the platform canopies for added shelter, increasing accessibility with upgrades to the station’s elevators and escalators, installing public art in and around the station, and giving the surrounding area facelift with new landscaping, improved pedestrian street crossings, bike lanes, benches and bike racks at the station, according to the CTA.
The long-vacant original station house on the south side of Garfield Boulevard, which was built in 1892 and designated a city landmark in 2001, will be renovated to serve as a community space.
“CTA always seeks to create and enhance a sense of community when we build or renovate our rail stations,” CTA president Dorval R. Carter Jr. said in a statement. “These facilities are far more than just places to catch a train or bus; they are travel hubs that frequently become part of the fabric of the communities we serve.”
Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) said in a statement that the project will transform the Garfield Green Line station “into something the neighborhood can be proud of.”
The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The CTA says the Washington Park station serves nearly 425,000 riders annually.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the Garfield Gateway Project is just one example of the city and state’s broad commitment to improving transportation around the future home of the Obama Center. The state budget includes $174 million in funding for road construction, traffic mitigation, pedestrian-focused infrastructure and cosmetic upgrades in the communities surrounding Jackson Park.
“The Obama Presidential Center will be a transformational project for Chicago’s south side, and this state funding demonstrates Illinois’ commitment to honoring the legacy of Chicago’s favorite son and daughter,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Today we are doubling down on that investment and turning an iconic station from an eyesore into a community asset that reflects Washington Park’s future.”