Chicago has broken grown on the new $60 million Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Green Line station at Damen and Lake.
The fully ADA-accessible station will serve the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, the United Center and surrounding residential area on the Near West Side, including the Chicago Housing Authority’s Villages of Westhaven complex. The neighborhood has seen notable residential and commercial growth in recent years.
“Today’s groundbreaking marks another major milestone for the CTA, which brings new jobs and opportunities for Chicago’s residents” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “This new station will be a community anchor, serve those who live and work in the neighborhood and will become a gateway to further usher in economic growth for the Near West Side.”
The work beginning on May 3 will establish the foundation of the new station. Construction of the new station house is expected to start later this year and be completed in 2021.
The station has been deigned by Perkins + Will.
Station materials and design elements were chosen and arranged to enhance and create an intuitive user experience of the facility and to allow for a long-lasting transit facility with low-maintenance requirements. 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.
After the ceremony, Ald. Walter Burnett spoke for some time with a group of neighborhood residents who have gone through a mentoring and job-training program run by the Minority Business Alliance, Streetsblog Chicago reported, which also observed:
“They are now certified contractors hoping to find work with the Lake/Damen project, according to Jerry Lewis, owner of JLL Construction and a lifelong West Side resident who said he has coordinated with the alderman on the program. Lewis said the certification allows the trainees to be hired for union work that pays well. ‘(This way) the guys in the community who are working on specific projects are able to show representation that they legitimate contractors . . . without outside intervention coming in and saying what they do or do not do.'”