Monday, September 20, 2010

How The $3M Will Be Spent On Wilson L Station

Curious of how the $3M coming from the Wilson Yard TIF will be used to improve our dilapidated and historic station? Check out this budget outline on the left that shows just that. Note that they will move the "fare array" aka turnstiles, to the first floor and add LED lighting on the exterior.

A reader notes:

"This was referred to the City Council's Finance Committee which will probably have it up for approval at it's scheduled meeting on Friday, October 1st, at 10am. Unless somebody shows up to oppose remodeling the stinky Wilson el station, then its approval by the committee will be almost automatic, and it would go to the City Council for full approval on October 6th which should also be automatic."


  1. I don't understand why they closed those businesses so early if the final plans had not been made yet. Popeyes and the newstand store could have been open for months longer yet the CTA closed them unnecessarily early putting those people out of work sooner than needed.

  2. Given the blazing pace of work for the Chicago city govt (i'm talking about the bureaucrats, magical city guy), we MIGHT see these improvements in 3-4 years? That gives them plenty of time to reallocate the money for something else like elocution lessons for Richie's son to run for mayor. Don't mind me, it's monday and I'm feeling bitter.

  3. There is effectively no restoration in this cost breakdown. It is clearly a minor remodeling/freshening and nothing more.

  4. I think making the turnstiles on the first floor is very important.

    Right now its the most ill conceived station ever in its layout.

    Im glad the popeyes closed.
    Couldnt have happened fast enough.
    But the Newsstand I agree with.

  5. This 3 million is just slapping lipstick on a pig. It will still be the same shithole just with fresh paint, a few more lights, and new drywall. No businesses will want to locate in the Wilson CTA buildings unless a full restoration and revitalization is done. Why can't we sell naming rights like statiums for the exchange the company makes a full revitalization of the station (Target Wilson Stop?)

  6. Thanks Ray!

    Seems like three million should get us more, but hey that is the unions for you. They have to have 3 stewarts there to make sure the laborers aren't abused. They sit there and do nothing.

  7. Pros:
    • LED lighting
    • New storefronts
    • Fares to 1st floor is a 1st step for an elevator...
    • New flooring, handrails, and wall treatments.

    • New lighting on an aging exterior
    • Storefronts consisting of...and for what tenants?
    • an elevator that will take 20 years to get.
    • New floor like that terrible brown tile they installed on the stairs this summer? New legit stone or tile floor, or just more craptastic patching? Handrails, really? For what, that terrible brown tiles staircase?

    It's a shame that nothing's built with the luster that railways build with in the 1900s. Look at Union Station or what remaining detail is in the Gerber Building, and THAT is what the CTA should be thinking of, not this "lipstick".

    FWIW, I'm all for this lipstick anyways.

  8. Umm, what about the south end of the station though? Does the Wilson entrance get no love?

    Incidentally, there was a woman waiting very close to the turnstile gate this morning, and I could tell she was going to try to sneak in front of me after I paid my fare. Problem is, my monthly pass would have locked me out had she gone in before me, and I was not about to let that happen, so I basically checked her out of the way and squeezed in before she should. She still managed to slide in after me without paying her fare!!

  9. I would look at this
    as basically bringing the wilson station maybe out of the gutter.

  10. With the average cost of rehabbing an El station costing $30 million, this is definitely "lipstick on the pig."

    Now just imagine if we had an alderman who actually spent our TIF money on good community plans that includes the Wilson El station as a safe, bustling retail gateway to our community.

  11. didn't they replace the roof on the platform with new metal roofing just a couple years ago when they did similar work to all the older stations on the north side red line?

    why are they spending $600k on a new roof for this remodel if its already been replaced?

  12. I'm sure they mean the roof of the Gerber building, not the platform.

  13. urbaneddie - its to replace the roof on the building, not the platform.

  14. I think the new roof money is for the commercial building, or maybe buildings, underneath most of that platform.

    The station itself definitely got a new roof canopy but the commercial building underneath hasn't been touched in years.

    I'd take $3,000,000 for the station now. The only way Chicago will see wholesale renovation of that and other red line stations like Argyle and Lawrence is if the feds pony up, and after however many hundreds of millions they spent fixing the red line stations I doubt we'll see that kind of outlay again soon.

    If only we had gotten those darn 2016 Olympics! Then maybe we'd be sitting pretty on a $30,000,000 station rehab.

  15. Given the location of the venues for the proposed 2016 Olympics, I don't see how the Uptown Wilson Station would have been the benefactor of a whole lot of those funds.

    Do I think the proposal is enough, no. Do I think it should help, heck yes. Hopefully, a brighter, cleaner station will encourage other property owners to invest in the area.

    The reality is that investment among private property owners will continue to come as that strip becomes safer (i.e. no more shootings, open air drug markets,intimidation by gang members, aggressive panhandling)more inviting, and attracts the type of foot traffic with money to spend at their tenants' businesses.

    It really is time for a commitment and PLAN to really clean up
    Broadway and Wilson holistically.

    All of Uptown's diverse population would benefit, except the gang bangers and drug dealers, who would be inconvenienced and finally held accountable.

  16. I smirkingly wrote: "If only we had gotten those darn 2016 Olympics! Then maybe we'd be sitting pretty on a $30,000,000 station rehab."

    Then Stash wrote: "Given the location of the venues for the proposed 2016 Olympics, I don't see how the Uptown Wilson Station would have been the benefactor of a whole lot of those funds."

    Now I gotta' say: There has been a real lack of appreciation for both irony and for sarcasm around this forum the last few weeks. And it's going to be a real long election season if a few of you don't get on board the Ironic Sarcasm Uptown Express.

    Conveniently for everyone the Ironic Sarcasm Uptown Express boards daily at the resplendent and enchantingly fragrant Wilson el stop.