Tuesday, July 28, 2009

RedEye: Wilson L Named "Crustiest Station"

We are the champions...my friend...

The RedEye has given our Wilson Red Line station their esteemed "Crustiest Station Award." Judging from the photo above, showing one of Wilson's many vacant storefronts that now serve as outdoor toilets and graff walls (click to enlarge), the title is appropriate. This award wouldn't be possible without the ineptitude of the CTA, Jones Lang LaSalle, and of course, our Alderman, who claims that every time funds became available for Wilson, they were mysteriously taken away. Money is always available for parking garages, low-income housing, and fish farms, of course. Read the whole article by clicking here.

Update: For old time's sake, let's take a trip down memory lane with some of our favorite, historic Wilson L photos:


  1. This wouldn't be possible without Uptown Update. I wouldn't have found the Red Eye request for rider comments without Uptown Update.

    I hope it makes a difference. To see CTA President Rodriguez offer a concession on the Wilson stop is also good. It's a push in the right direction. I no longer use the Wilson stop on a daily basis, but I will be using it to visit my favorite Wilson Area Merchant Association friends. The station is historic. It's largely vacant. Fill it up. Uptown Update readers have presented excellent ideas for change. Are they still selling Wilson Red Line t-shirts at Unique so Chique? A little bit of local pride can go a long way.

    Don't let up. Keep pushing. The capital to improve the station is sitting in bank accounts. The revenue is already there. It just requires discretionary allocation. Make your voice heard. Haikus for Change. ;)

  2. I work with someone in his 60s who grew up in Uptown and tells wonderful stories of its heyday. As a teenager, he worked at a magazine stand inside the lobby ... which stretched from the entrance that's now Popeyes to area where the stairs are. That whole space was a waiting room, similar to the Grand Hall in Union Station, with long carved wood benches, marble floors and chandeliers. The magazine stand he worked at stretched the length of the entire lobby.

    It sickens him (and me) to know that not only was that grand lobby destroyed - for empty storefronts and Health Department favorite Popeye's - but that the Wilson stop went from the most beautiful to the "crustiest" station in Chicago.

  3. When I moved to Sheridan Park in 1997, I took the redline to the Wilson stop only one time. Trying to walk by the Wooden Nickle back then was just too dangerous. (On either side of the street)

    Then about 6 years later, things started to get better, and I would ride it regularly.

    Now, however, it seems that we've taken a trip in the wayback machine with the amount of shootings going on around there. So, it's back to the Brownline Montrose stop for me.

    Way to go Shiller... there's something to be proud of.

  4. Three cheers for Uptown Update!!!
    I hope this award of Crustiest Station will wake up some and make our voice heard for this eye-sore station.....

  5. The Wilson L stop is a little too dangerous for me (and most people). Too much crime within a two-block radius, and having our elected official's office nearby offers minimal protection. And, yes, I cringe at the accuracy of that previous sentence.

    I'll exit at Lawrence if needed, thank you.

  6. Oh, and here's the link to the actual article online now, I know that only the interactive flip-through-the-pages link was available when I got into work this morning.


  7. Seriously, that station has been effed up for as long as I can remember riding to or past it, since the early '80s. Trash, dirty facade, urine, the possiblity of criminal bodily injury coming to or from the station at whatever hour... and Shiller has been alderman for HOW long? Really, if you're looking for the physical manifestation of her governing style you don't have to look any further than the Wilson el station. I mean, my Bryn Mawr station, particularly the north exit can get pretty funktastic, but the rest of it is pretty decent. But that Wilson stop...yeah. It maybe wouldn't be so bad if there were viable tenants in the many possible retail spaces...they would hopefully be able to clean and monitor at least their own spaces. But with all that empty space, there's no one there to clean it up and monitor their investment.

  8. The Wilson station is an unsightly mark on the face of our neighborhood. A mark on the chin, slightly right of center. Stop staring. Moooole.

  9. The power of media.. Thanks uptown update.

  10. I think each elected offical should sleep in their respective El station for one night. This way they'll see how bad it must suck.

  11. Has anyone contacted the 2016 Olympic committee?
    Possibly something along the lines of "Rapid Transit for the 19th Century"

  12. Maybe we find a way to invite Mayor Daley to the Wilson Stop on the Red Line so that he can see for himself what a disgrace this would present to anyone considering Chicago for the Olympics.

    Maybe, just maybe, if he sees it in person, he'd also re-consider his support of Shiller and shake his finger at her obvious lack of concern for tax paying citizens of Uptown.

  13. Daley doesn't care about anyone of the Citizens of Chicago.

    He only needs their votes and probably doesn't need those either as the elections are probably fixed.

    All he cares about his keeping his corrupt business enterprise going that employs most of his family and family's family.

  14. Why does the CTA allow the Wilson EL to crumble, while they're restoring others around the north side?

    Is it totally Shiller's fault?

    I mean all Shiller would have to do is revitalize that EL stop and the neighborhood would see some uptick...

    Wait, that would mean that broadway would actually look attractive...

    and bums couldn't openly piss in the door ways...

    and if bums couldn't piss in public, well - - - that just wouldn't be Alderman Shiller's brand of Uptown.

    Wicked woman!