Friday, December 3, 2010

Argyle Station Getting Facelift

From an email sent to Argyle-Winmore Block Club Members:
"I would like to check back in with you on regarding the gateway element and decorative pavers for the Argyle CTA Station. While we have had much discussion about the gateway element (above), we are looking for some feedback from you, the Alderman, and the community on the decorative paving pattern (below) that will be on both sides of Argyle Street beneath the CTA viaduct. I have attached the final image of the gateway element, as well as our current concept of the paver pattern. Because of the strong and vibrant identity in the gateway design, we wanted the paver pattern to complement -- and not distract from -- the gateway itself. We choose coordinating colors, and took the theme of colored bands with varied widths from the support columns of the identifier. Please let me know any feedback or suggested design changes as soon as you are able (within one week if possible!) and we can incorporate any of your comments into the final design."

David Leopold, Project Manager
Streetscape and Sustainable Design Program
Chicago Department of Transportation


  1. How about we take the money being spent on the sidewalks and overhang and instead use it to install an elevator? Every person with special physical needs and every mom who has struggled to carry a wiggly toddler or 2 and a stroller up the broken, wet stairs would appreciate it.

  2. This looks very interesting. Does anybody know where to find more information regarding this and/or where to find a larger file photo?
    Or a link to this block club?

    The shape of the sign suggests a Torii Gate, which is a Japanese element, but barely.

    The color palette I am having trouble reconciling it as Asian in any historical context, it can be in a contemporary context however but that could be said about any color scheme. As it looks in the picture the first impression I got was of a highland Guatamalan textile pattern and colors. It does look nice, just not particularly Asian to me at all.

    The pattern of the pavers as well as the palette seems to lack a very distinct asian identity as well. On its own it is fine. However, east asia has many many geometric patterns, simple to complex that would say "Asia on Argyle" much more definitively.

    It would also along with the english text perhaps use some Chinese and Vietnamese script.

    On the whole this is a night and day improvement on the current condition, only making my own observations because I love the culture and art of East and SE Asia, I study Lingnan-style painting so its a passion of mine.

    Argyle street needs this, perhaps one day we can rally for a true free-standing gate, ala' Chinatown to compliment this improvement.

    Heck, I have even been sketching ideas and have done watercolor renderings of just such a day.....but today I dream I draw and I paint.

    Jeffrey Littleton

  3. Nah,
    how about the sidewalks and overhang and elevators?

    Thought I would put this in a good news section,
    I picked up the area of winthrop south of the Aragon again last wednesday. And boy it needed it.
    But I couldnt pickup all the litter on the street, but I got the bulk of it.

  4. We need elavator(s) at all three stations and the fact that Uptown with all of our disabled neighbors has exactly zero, that is the messed up pseudo-politics of the CTA and immoral.

    This project looks like a "gateway element" Which is basically a sign. And "decorative pavers",its MUCH smaller in scope than installing an elevator. I believe but could be mistaken the platform may need to be widened to permit an elevator.

    That's why Wilson Station is a priority.

    If the funding is on the table for this project let's take it!

    Argyle Street not only deserves this and better, in fact I sincerely believe it will thrive if improved and pay dividends.

    What dividends? Where or what are the benefits and for whom?

    There are many in my view,but I am going to ask anybody and everybody to chime in if you truly believe know some of them.

    !!Design Matters!!

    Cheers and Respect,

    Jeffrey Littleton

  5. Forget about a facelift for the el station let's work first on getting all the business owners to stop putting bars on their windows at night. Its an empty, scary, gated street at night. It's really ugly off putting and keep the area from improving. Truly one of the worst streets at night even though the lighting is bright. Hate walking there.

  6. The Howard Line is going to have to be totally rebuilt in the coming years, along with most of the stations.

    That's why the CTA isn't pouring large amounts of money into the stations along the route since it will all have to come out a short time later.

  7. If you focus and look down at the pavers, who won't notice that your tax dollars helped wreck the nice polychrome terra cotta that used to adorn the historic building on the NE corner of Broadway and Argyle! Good work.

  8. I totally agree with Jeffrey Littleton and CrankyCub. I like referring to Argyle (East of Broadway and West of Sheridan) as "The armpit of North Chicago". And the current El Stop improvement plan is equivalent to putting deodorant under an already smelly pit.

    I say invest in the much needed elevators, entryway, stairs, and overall structure. Let the cosmetic improvements happen after the business owners start to improve their storefronts (sans security bars and horribly faded posters and signs) maybe then the plan will be more appreciated and worth the money. Until then; we're just polishing turds.