CTA shows art to be displayed at rehabbed Red Line north station

A wide range of art by seven artists – four of them from Chicago – will adorn the station houses of the seven Red Line north stations that were rehabbed last year.

The gallery shows photos of the art at Jarvis, Morse, Granville, Thorndale, Berwyn, Argyle and Lawrence.

The artwork for the seven north Red Line stations is paid for with Transit Enhancement Funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The total project budget is nearly $621,000 and includes all costs including artist fees, fabrication, shipping/delivery, installation, administrative fees and a project contingency fund. Similar federal funds will be used for the commissioning of public artwork installed at Red Line South and Wilson stations.

Public meetings will be held over the next three weeks about the art projects at the Wilson and Red Line South station. View the schedule.



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  • That's $621,000 wasted on foolishness instead of being used for something that's really needed, like replacing the crossovers just north of Granville!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I have no idea how much six hundred K dollars would go in a trackwork project, but I am amazed at how Granville interlocking stays in your crosshairs, LOL. Hope I'm helpful with a little background. Granville tower and interlocking, yes there used to be a tower structure there.....the interlocking goes back to the 1920s when the north side "L" was raised to the concrete walled embankment. The track and structures were not built by the "L" company or the city; the project was done by the steam railroad that owned it, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul RR. Before that the "L" ran on the ground using trolley poles as no third rail was allowed. Raising the embankment was required first by Evanston and then by the city of Chicago. Granville's responsibility was to put the express trains from the local track southbound to the express track. Northbound it was just the opposite. North Shore interurban trains stayed on the express tracks. Granville also put the freight trains onto the gantlet track. The outside track number one, from Granville back to Howard didn't have third rail. The location could become a bottleneck in rush hours, as was the two-track connection over N. Broadway just north of the Wilson terminal where the four tracks were squeezed into two tracks.

    With the crumbling structure today, I guess we could fault the construction materials used by the Milwaukee railroad. Granville today has an entirely different purpose. No more freights and no more shifting of express trains, the interlocking is used mainly to set up two track operations. There is nothing physically wrong with the crossovers, but a better configuration would aid operations there, mainly two crossovers north of the present ones. Two new crossovers would eliminate the need for trains to briefly move in both directions on the same track within the interlocking when two track operations are in effect. The CTA would probably want to redo the trackwork in conjunction with new bi-directional signalling, probably with the proposed Red North project. One final note, Granville is never remotely controlled from the Howard Street tower.

  • Our tax dollars at work. SMH

  • Note that it is your federal tax dollars at work. The feds have had this thing about art with a capital F since the Batcolumn in front of the Social Security building (just west of Ogilvie station) and that's from the mid 1970s. Maybe even going back to the WPA.

    Given that the feds can print money, the market tanked on Wednesday when people thought the stimulus was ending, and artists are probably more worthy than consultants, I'm not quite as aggrieved. However, the scum who graffiti and defaecate on CTA property will probably render the art nugatory in the short term.

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    The art looks great! It will take the industrial prison look out of the stations.

  • I love all of it.

  • I'm definitely an art aficionado, but it is absolutely mind boggling to me that such a sum of tax dollars can be identified for art at stations that (hopefully) won't be around for too many more decades before they are completely rebuilt. However, it appears that there are no funds to fix the never-ending slow zones on the Northern Red line that continue to get worse with each passing month.

    Southbound between Bryn Mawr and Belmont isn't TOO bad these days, but Northbound is a complete mess yet again! It's back to nearly all 15mph from Belmont through Argyle! I've timed it a few times and the this trip takes about 4-5 minutes longer going North compared to going South. I'd much rather have fast trains (and train bunching that the slow zones cause) than see a wall of painted flowers when I enter the train station. I know it's two different buckets of money, but still it is ridiculous that we'll have creeping trains but we will have slightly more pretty stations.

  • In reply to Matt:

    What's more ridiculous is that another project to fix slow zones didn't. Unless CTA can prove that without that work, several viaducts would have collapsed and there would not have been any service north of Wilson, the Sisyphus explanation previously discussed doesn't fly.

  • Nice to see that most people are sane & realize that it's a total waste of money if the trains run at 15MPH!

  • It does seem like a money at a time when other things are needed, but I also believe in the power of art to heal. A lot of these spots could use some healing.

    It does seem like Argyle keeps getting the short end of the stick though. Others may have alternative opinions, but I think their piece of art is pretty atrocious much like the whimsically (i.e. sloppily) aligned "Asia on Argyle" sign that adorns the tracks there.

  • In reply to Kim Z Dale:

    But then it gets to the question whether a street two blocks long that is two blocks from another station should have a station. If the L were initially built today, it wouldn't.

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