The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) broke ground June 15 on the $50 million Garfield Gateway project, which is set to make major enhancements to the Garfield Green Line station.
The Garfield Gateway project is intended to upgrade the environment for commuters in several ways, such as extending platform canopies to provide more shelter; upgrading platform accessibility with elevator and escalator improvements and installing public art and landscaping. Officials expect the project to wrap up by the end of 2018.
The project will also rehabilitate the original Garfield station house that was built in 1892 on the south side of Garfield Boulevard. The facility is no longer used by customers, but is still owned by the CTA, officials explained.
The historic station house earned City of Chicago landmark status in 2001 and will be restored to its original turn-of-the century appearance, CTA said. The station house will undergo improvements to allow it to serve a public purpose, such as a community space. The steel structure will also receive new paint and LED lighting.
Officials said collaboration with the Chicago Department of Transportation will also enable the Garfield Gateway project to include streetscape enhancements adjacent to the station to better integrate existing transportation uses, improving pedestrian street crossings, using eco-friendly paving materials, adding median landscaping such as sustainable native grasses and plants, bike lanes, benches and bike racks.
The Garfield ‘L’ station serves nearly 425,000 passengers annually, CTA said, and it provides connections with the #55 Garfield bus, which serves more than 3 million riders per year.
Emanuel also announced June 15 that the Illinois state budget included $174 million in funding to meet transportation infrastructure needs related to the Obama Presidential Center.
“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,” 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.”