By: Jerad Karasek
New plans for the Green Line station at Damen Avenue and Lake Street near the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks were revealed Monday. The announcement was made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the CTA, and other city officials. The Mayor’s office said, “It will close the transit gap on the Near West Side and serve as a gateway to the neighborhood.” This station is also the gateway to the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks.
Global architecture firm Perkins + Will will oversee the designs for the building. The construction of the station will start later this year and is expected to be up and running by 2020. The modern design features a grand staircase, and an escalator surrounded by glass walls,The structure will also include an elevated bridge connecting the inbound and outbound sides of the station.
Earlier designs for the Green Line were proposed by the Randolph Fulton Market Association, but were ultimately declined for the more modern and intuitive design. The project will cost the city a total of $60 million, but there are financial benefits to be gained with the influx of more opportunities for the West Side. Woodlawn and Englewood in particular have been heavily affected by the Green Line’s split east and west along 63rd Street when heading South from Garfield Boulevard. The headways (the time between trains) can take as long as 20 minutes in rush hour for some stops, leading to a lower frequency of riders. Fixing this issue would also make it easier and faster for students commuting to school.