Before and after photos of Logan Square CTA station renewal - and what stations are next

Here's what the CTA "renew crews" did to accomplish the dramatic improvements at the Logan Square station on the Blue Line:

  • Power washing of station plaza, interior walls, tunnel walls and ceiling
  • Heavy cleaning of floors and stairs
  • Light fixture cleaning and improvement
  • Installation of additional light fixtures on the subway platform tunnel walls
  • Repainting of station entrances and interior ceilings and railings
  • Repairs to masonry walls and concrete ceiling
  • Refurbishment of the Kedzie main entrance escalator
  • Refurbishment of the Spaulding auxiliary entrance escalator
  • Upgrading of 19 existing security cameras with digital high definition cameras
  • Water management to prevent and mitigate leaks
  • Installation of perforated metal glazing and vandal shield to reduce graffiti
  • New signage throughout the station
  • New trees and plantings in the bus terminal and plaza

According to the CTA, work also was done in May at the Damen and Washington Blue Line stations - though the rehab there was not as extensive.

Workers were busy at the California Blue Line  and Halsted Orange Line stops on Tuesday painting, making lighting improvements, among other fixups.

Next up for "station renewals":

  • Jarvis (Red Line)
  • Cicero (Blue Line)
  • 43rd (Green Line)
  • Skokie (Yellow Line)
  • Kostner (Pink Line)

All photos from the CTA Flickr page.



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  • Looks nice, they need to hit Clark and Division, that place is a rathole!

  • Looks good, for now. Im sure that after another brutal Chicago winter, it will be back to the "Mad Max - Beyond thunderdome" chic.

  • The news story I saw was at California, so I guess they didn't have the media out at Logan Square and tried to get "twosies."

    Also, the stories referred to the "City of Chicago." Last I knew, Dempster was not in it. I'm glad that, as the Press Release says "'Chicago is an international, world-class city, and my Administration is committed to investing in what’s right, to make sure every piece of it shines,' said Mayor Emanuel. 'With this new Station Renewal program we'll have cleaner, brighter, more functional stations for CTA riders.'" Being from Wilmette, maybe he will have the "administration" do the Linden station soon.

    You know what point I was going to make in the preceding paragraph.

    Besides boofoo's point, that's 9 down and probably about another 125 to go. At least the Press Release says another 91.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, I can't help but notice you don't praise Claypool for eliminating 60 top management positions. Isn't that something you've been asking for?

    As for Dempster, the CTA serves Evanston. Their citizens commute to Chicago and spend money here, adding to the city's tax coffers. Why would the CTA exclude them from station rehabs?

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    1. I suppose Sunday's Dilbert demonstrates what Claypool has supposedly undone. Maybe he would first want to document on the Web what positions he eliminated and how all patronage has also been eliminated. But he can't even post a President's Report. Short of that, I'm not taking anything on faith.

    However, I am glad he found the money somewhere.

    2. I guess after at least two years you missed the point of my comment, which is is the CTA part of city government, or supposedly has a board to run it? I mentioned that in regard to all the "Mayor Daley deigned to appoint" references in one of your posts. So, if it is as often portrayed, I guess the Mayor of Chicago, while taking credit for everything, is for a change looking out for the CTA's constituents in Skoke (where the Dempster Yellow Line station, which was mentioned in the press release, is located), instead of the age old Carole Brown/Frank Kreusi theme, reiterated by Gump, that we provide 82% of the rides in the region, so you suburbanites should pay for it.

    Like I said, point out where in the law it says that CTA is like Streets and San, Water and Sewers, CPD, CFD, and other units of city government. I can't help to notice that while you rely on CTA Press Releases, you never answered that one.

  • In reply to jack:

    I think it's actually Claypool looking out for the Skokie residents (thanks for the correction), not Rahm. By law, CTA has to look after all the folks within its jurisdiction, which extends outside the city.

    Certainly it's not perfect, the way the mayor makes his appointments, but that's the way it is, and I can't change that.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Or apparently able to recognize that the governance here is abysmal.

    Also, I don't think it is Claypool looking out for anyone. The CTA Press Release was entitled "Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool Announce Station Renewal Initiative." The same release is on the City's site. Claypool isn't doing anything independent. Like I said, he can't even post a President's Report.

    If Claypool really cared, he would call you back and answer the questions he ducked, and you admitted that he ducked. Want to lay odds on that?

  • Why are they wasting the time & money cleaning up Jarvis?
    That mess should have been closed decades ago & demolished because it's so close to Howard.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Somebody's got to placate His Highness of the Foie Gras ban, Joe Moore.*

    Heck, today Metra has to placate Durbin and Kirk about the proposed fare increase, not like either of them is going to do anything about it.

    Transit these days is merely ego.

    *Remember about a year ago when he got the big turnout to the Red-Purple hearing on the basis that "they're gonna close Jarvis?"

  • In reply to jack:

    What's really ridiculous is that Moore has his wife running for the Sanitary District next year. That means if she wins this county wide post, he'll make it official & move to her house in Evanston & resign as alderman.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Scooter, Moore's wife doesn't have a house in Evanston. Please stick with the facts here.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Then where is it?
    We all know you work for Moore!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Again Scooter, you need to stick with the facts. I don't work for Moore, but he is a friend.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    "Why are they wasting the time & money cleaning up Jarvis?
    That mess should have been closed decades ago & demolished because it's so close to Howard."--says Scooter.

    I agree: Jarvis is useless. And I lived this/close to Jarvis for a good long while. Howard was not a long or hard walk, even in the winter (I am lucky enough to be healthy, though).

    But you play the cards you are dealt, and as Jarvis remains open, why not clean that toilet up a little bit?

    Or, one can simply remain grumpy and idealistic at the expense of realism.

  • I've lived in Logan Square for over a decade and take the Blue Line everyday. I've watched the stages of rehab at the station and consider this whole process yet another annoying sign of my mixed-ethnicity, family-oriented, lower-income neighborhood being ceded to the edamame-eating, organic-coffee-drinking, bike-riding hipsters who started moving west as Wicker Park transforms into a slightly-less-sports-bar-infested version of LakeView. When the only people who rode to or from Logan Square were under-educated minorities working erratic shifts, the station was a dank, dark slimebucket. Now that there are lots of late-20s comfortable-to-wealthy bearded white dudes in skinny jeans and chicks with dyed Bettie Page bangs and vintage dresses popping over to spend outrageous sums of money at Longman & Eagle, a demographic that can and is not afraid to vote in local elections, the place gets spruced up. Convince me that it isn't a coincidence, I dare you.

  • In reply to MissVep:

    I too live in Logan and I said the same thing when I first saw the newly cleaned walls after a work trip. I said on FB that now the hipsters will be coming here in droves because the station is warm and inviting. Don't get me wrong, we deserve a clean and safe station but the price we're going to pay for it may be too high. California/ Milwaukee has become a hipster bastion and sooner or later, they will hit the Square proper. I love walking down my street and seeing a mix of people, housing stock and not the annoyances that come when you walk further down Milwaukee, Belmont and Diversey.

  • In reply to MissVep:

    Organic coffee! OMG, there goes the neighborhood.

  • In reply to WestLooper:

    God forbid! That'd be a crime!

  • In reply to WestLooper:

    actually, that's exactly what happens. I like living in a real neighborhood, where people are actually invested in it and like it for how it is currently and NOT because they see it as a place that they can change and turn it into the next Lincoln Park or suburb. I have no interest in living near people who move in and turn the neighborhood to the next Wicker or Wrigleyvillle then leave because they're suddenly too good to live in Chicago but left me with loads of coffee shops, nail salons and other things that are generally not used by most residents of the neighborhood in addition to higher rent. I see how California has changed over the past three years and I hate for my part of Logan to turn into it. It's not an upgrade, its definitely a downgrade.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    With regard to this thread, I guess it is not surprising that Chicago cries about economic development, how it can't support itself, and how it is losing population, but no one wants anyone else moving into their neighborhoods. Gawd forbid that anyone new would want to move into Logan Square. Some day, they might even want to reclaim the south side.

  • In reply to jack:

    It's not about keeping people out but creating something to serve both old and new and that does not happen in this city. Nothing is ever sustainable, it just focuses on the latest trend and when that trend goes away, so does any economic development. Re: The new people crying about a walmart express in Logan when it can benefit longtime residents who have little options within walking distance and those options are usually overpriced. Those who actually want it have their voices drowned out by people who would never use it anyway. And that's my problem with people moving in. They change it to suit their needs and ignore those who are already there. If you have to change a neighborhood to fit you, you shouldn't move there to begin with.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    Well, substitute "Negroes" or "Mexicans" for "hipsters," as it was in the 60s, and see how politically correct at least MissVep would be.

    I guess people in Logan Square are happy that a business that once was there, Abt, is still on Milwaukee Avenue, just 11 miles north, and your sales tax goes to Glenview.

    And with regard to Walmart, apparently the "elites" in the city don't want them anywhere, although that is starting to break down. In that regard, I agree with you. In any event, I don't think that Logan Square has to worry that Nordstrom's is moving in.

  • In reply to jack:

    For the record, I am glad for the new WalMart at the Presidential Towers. I visited on opening day and it is nice grocery store.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, I hope you are not accusing me of political incorrectness simply because I had the nerve to suggest that people with money and the motivation to change things to fit their needs have a lot more clout than the lower classes and non-whites they are pricing out of the neighborhood they have moved into. When the majority of people in Logan Square were not white and had no money, the CTA station was a pit — because apparently that is all we deserved. I guess we should be grateful for the hipster insurgence because we finally got lights and a paint job that we didn't merit without their influx.

    The concern that I have in terms of the gentrification of Logan Square is not that people of another ethnicity or race are moving in, taking over, and spoiling the neighborhood. I like a diverse neighborhood. But because real estate prices tend to skyrocket when people who have money can afford to pay much more for a cool address than the low-income family that has raised two or three generations there, the neighborhood loses its diversity.

  • In reply to MissVep:

    I hate to break it to you, but the bearded boys and Bettie Page girls you reference above are not the people driving up the prices in your neighborhood. They are the first wave of people that made it more acceptable to live there. The 2nd wave is where the money is coming from and driving up prices. Happened the same in Wicker Park. Artists made it interesting until it got gentrified. The gay community has done similar things for neighborhoods as well,

    But to think these hipsters are driving up prices is funny, since most of them are broke.

  • In reply to MissVep:

    No, I am not accusing you of political incorrectness. I am accusing you of hypocrisy.

    One has no way of knowing whether the reason why Logan Square was the first station to get a good cleaning and some repairs is because some hipster just moved in or it was just the first station to get some attention. Similarly, we don't know if California-Brown was third because Cheryl posted pictures, or some politician who lives in the Blagojevichville neighborhood complained.

    As far as property values going up, supposedly they fell 30% in the Chicago area as a result of the recession, so what are you talking about? Also, you seem offended that somehow your neighborhood might improve.

    Ibright's statement about Walmart reminded me of this 500 Words post. Is it the "hipsters" or some aldercreature looking for extortion that is really shaping your neighborhood?

    As I said above, would you have been one of the first in the 60s who would have said that the Hispanics were going to ruin your neighborhood? And while you want to maintain your frugal lifestyle, are you going to be one (like Kruesi) who are going to say that it is people outside Chicago that have to pay to maintain city services and pensions (including CTA) because you are fighting economic development in the city and want Logan Square to turn into Grand Boulevard? Which it will, if you decry people of slightly better economic standards moving there.

    That's the hypocrisy.

  • In reply to WestLooper:


    There's nothing wrong with organic coffee, but the old-timers in the neighborhood who can barely afford groceries and are watching their rent go up and up don't spend a lot of $ on a cup of coffee.

  • My question remains -- When are they going to rehab Wilson??!!!
    This station has been voted "most crustiest" by Chicago NOW/ Red Eye readers for two years in a row !!!

  • In reply to bizkid888:

    I think there is money in the pipeline for a refresher but Wilson is not the worst station, it's just visible because it has high ridership. I can think of a few that are worse (Division and Clinton- Blue, Clark/ Division and Jarvis Red, South Blvd- Purple, 47th- Green- that one is beyond nasty).

  • In reply to ibright05:

    and frankly Wilson is always voted no. 1, because the new residents like to bitch. No one cared about it until the hipsters and their followers started using it. Its something that's quite common, especially here in Chicago. I've fallen prey to it with my general distaste for the Forest Park branch but realized later there is some use to it.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    There are not very many hipsters at Wilson station. I think you need to understand who you are talking about before you start blaming your problems on them. That station is mostly college students and local African American residents.

  • So the "before and after" is simply the same photo with new pint and better white balance settings on the camera?

  • In reply to mugen:

    It does look like they got the water stains out, too. Unless you are saying that they Photoshopped it.

    I'm sure MissVep will be happy to go down there and check it for you, if you give her the $2.25 so she can go through the turnstile.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well, they cleaned up a bit...but look at photo 7&8 and 9&10...nothing changed. They just took a better photo with proper white balance.

  • In reply to mugen:

    I thought the same thing at first! But, for instance, the maps on the walls under the station signs are new and they aren't in the "before" picture. The pictures are exaggerated but the station is much brighter now. The walls were power washed so they are grey now instead of brown-grey, and they lights have been cleaned up a lot so there is whiter light and there are working lights all the way from the Kedzie to Spaulding entrances, which makes a huge difference.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thank you for your concern about my ability to afford the train ride, Jack, but I'm not sure why you are singling me out for derision when I am not the only one in this thread who has expressed concern for the impending marginalization of the working class in this neighborhood.

  • In reply to MissVep:

    Because that's how he rolls. I've just quit reading him or that Scooter troll.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    MissVep, cheryl,

    Thank you both. MissVep, I have lived on Logan Blvd and Washtenaw for almost 25 years and I truely am glad to hear your voice. I've watched it all happen just as you say, especially in the last few years.
    Cheryl, thank you for pointing out what I have been doing for a long time, not reading any posts by either one of these miserable trolls. Charming lads, aren't they!

  • In reply to sophie:

    Yes I am charming!

  • Sorry, I got the wrong station, although the video was of California, on the Blue Line, coincidentally in the same neighborhood as Logan Square.

    So, redact the Blagoville comment.

    Yet none of the rest of you caught me on it. ;-)

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