Like Trains? You’ll Love Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper [updated]
Mar19

Like Trains? You’ll Love Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper [updated]

Another new residential tower is coming to River North and this one has an interesting, albeit noisy, view. 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly sent out a notice last night inviting neighbors to a public meeting for a new tower at 205 West Hubbard Street. That’s the surface parking lot bifurcated by the CTA’s Brown and Purple Line elevated trains. The project actually includes two buildings so, presumably, it will also...

Read More
“This is Cermak-McCormick Place”
Feb11

“This is Cermak-McCormick Place”

If you live in the South Loop, your commute tonight might end with a new phrase “This is Cermak-McCormick Place.” The Chicago Transit Authority’s newest L stop opened this week, and The Chicago Architecture Blog‘s Daniel Schell stopped by to take pictures of the CTA station at its cleanest. The new station is partly a response to the increasing number of people living in the South Loop and an effort by the city...

Read More
CTA Holiday Train Takes Santa On The Rails For One More Week
Dec15

CTA Holiday Train Takes Santa On The Rails For One More Week

If you need to get a giant sleigh from point A to point B and you can’t seem to find eight flying reindeer, a six-car (non-flying) CTA train powered by 600-volt direct current isn’t a bad substitute. At least that’s the theory behind the ever-popular CTA Holiday Train. I headed to the southwest terminus of the Blue Line on Saturday to check out the bling-ed up train. There were roughly 400 visitors to the train platform, all waiting...

Read More
Work Gets Rolling on CTA Wilson Station Reconstruction
Dec09

Work Gets Rolling on CTA Wilson Station Reconstruction

A host of local politicians, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, were in Uptown today for the groundbreaking ceremony for the CTA’s reconstruction of its Wilson Station (4620 North Broadway).  Wilson is a huge project, in part because it used to be a much more important link in the regional transportation system than it is today. At one time this was not just a train station, but also a double-decker rail yard.  Later its importance...

Read More
Totally Tubular! Chicago Art Aficionados Go Gaga For Wabash Lights
Oct31

Totally Tubular! Chicago Art Aficionados Go Gaga For Wabash Lights

It smells of diesel. Weird stuff drips down from it. The noise is unnerving every few minutes. I’m referring, of course, to the CTA elevated train tracks in the Loop. For tourists and locals alike, walking under the L tracks may not seem like strolling through a field of daisies. Jack Newell, Seth Unger and Justin Wardell aim to change that. They are the brains behind The Wabash Lights. It’s a bold public art initiative using light as...

Read More
Artists Propose Totally Tubular Light Show For Belly of the Wabash L
Oct07

Artists Propose Totally Tubular Light Show For Belly of the Wabash L

  A group of Chicago artists want to take the “seamy” out of the underbelly of the L in The Loop. The Wabash Lights is an art project that envisions hundreds of light tubes underneath the L tracks along Wabash Avenue.  The tube colors can be changed and animated at will.  The idea is to brighten up the area, which has underdone significant gentrification in recent years, but still has a way to go. We envision the tube...

Read More
Transit Artist Nick Fury Goes High Above Ashland And Lake For His Latest Venue
Oct01

Transit Artist Nick Fury Goes High Above Ashland And Lake For His Latest Venue

The folks at the office supply store where Nick Fury shops must figure he uses a typewriter, and that he doesn’t do it very well. Fury goes through a lot of typewriter correcting tape. It’s not inked words that he’s covering, though. Fury is creating art and using a nontraditional medium. It takes a keen eye and steady hand to place the correcting tape in straight lines and curves to develop visual images, but Fury has the technique...

Read More
CTA Bus Shelters Transformed Into Summer Campsites
Sep29

CTA Bus Shelters Transformed Into Summer Campsites

If you mistook a CTA bus shelter for a summer campsite, there’s a good reason. Five Chicago bus shelters have been transformed to promote camping in Wisconsin. A canvas-tent material covers the top, there’s a yellow camp klaxon rising above and faux-wood posts. There are even fall leaves covering the top. The only thing missing is a roaring fire and the smell of s’mores. Chicago is the only location for the innovative outdoor...

Read More
CTA Gets on the Ball With Wilson Station Reconstruction
Jun15

CTA Gets on the Ball With Wilson Station Reconstruction

The same day the Chicago Transit Authority announced it awarded construction contracts to start work on a futuristic-looking 95th Street Intermodal Superstation Terminal and Ice Cream Parlor* in the West Chesterfield neighborhood, it inked $153 million deal to start work rebuilding the Red Line’s Wilson Station. The Wilson Station has been the hub of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood since it was completed in 1900.  The...

Read More
CTA 95th Street Superstation to Become a Reality
Jun15

CTA 95th Street Superstation to Become a Reality

Seven months ago we told you about the Chicago Transit Authority’s plan to scrap the overused, overburdened overly gross 95th Street train and bus station at the south end of the Red Line.  Transit agencies make big plans all the time that never come to fruition (CTA Circle Line, anyone?), but this project is actually a “go.” The CTA has awarded construction contracts to start work on the $240 million replacement for...

Read More