Friday, February 3, 2012

Wilson Broadway Mall Gets Gutted

Construction workers were seen outside the former Wilson Broadway Mall today as work appears to have started on gutting the interior of the Wilson L retail space. We can only imagine the treasures uncovered inside.


  1. About time, that is the creepiest, most useless mini-mall I've ever seen...

  2. Drove by the hood last week when I was there. Glad to see some actual movement since the new administration took over. Now if only I can walk down the 4600 block of Bway at 2am on a weekend???

  3. Oh I gotta peek at the treasures, lots of shelving and boxes and "stuff".

    The same thing was going on for two days last week at the former "Majestic" on the corner of Broadway and Leland.

    I took some photos, a dumpster exclusive:

    I'm very worried about the future of this storefront and if you think it has potential so should you.

    I've asked the Redline GM if it was included in the $135M Wilson Station rehab and he said no. He also said the tracks above Broadway are coming down completely. This storefront is at the base the transition from the metal tracks to the earthen tracks. It is difficult to imagine the Majestic would not be affected simply by its location.

    The easiest thing to do would be to demolish it, terracotta facade and all. That would be a crime against architecture!

    If you believe we need some answers and would like to preserve the Majestic please attend the RPModernization meeting next Tuesday, there is a link on Uptown Update. The meeting is to present updated proposals and solicit feedback....please show up and speak up...


  4. It may have been beautiful once but we need to look to the future and not the past in this neighborhood.

  5. I would love to have seen the Wilson el station when it was new and shining circa 1920. You can see still how beautiful it must have been from the scarred marble and tarnished brass still inside the battered station.

    There is an old arcade of shops hidden from view there, the entrance to which is now behind a locked door inside the CTA employees' restroom. There's a lattice gate across it, but you can see what was once there, until the rampant crime forced its closure in the 1960s.

    It's too bad the lovely old facade and station behind it will probably have to be sacrificed in the rebuild of the Red Line, but the station is so bizarrely configured that in its current form there is no way to retrofit it with the elevator and escalator needed to make it ADA compliant, let alone make it attractive, safe, and functional all around. I love historic, beautiful buildings, but buildings are here to serve humans, and when they no longer can serve, they have to go.

  6. Unfortunately sacrifice is the right word - the budget approved is to rebuild, not restore. That said, if they use a little care when removing the terra cotta, perhaps it can be salvaged and reused down the road - a la the small corner section of Wilson Yard

  7. YAY!!!!! More progress in our neck of the woods!

  8. @Bryce -- According to the latest BPN Newsletter:

    "Our guidelines are that it must preserve the Gerber Building and the exterior terra-cotta," Cappleman said. (The Gerber Building houses the Wilson station and is owned by the CTA.) The plan calls for restoration of the entrance arch and clock at Wilson and Broadway, while the interior space will hold an indoor farmer's market, a restaurant, and a coffee shop. Existing businesses in the building will be eliminated and the walls between them removed.

  9. At the same BPN meeting in regards to the Gerber building, James said the CTA had put the original terracotta arch in storage but seems to have "lost it".

    Its kinda funny to think it may still be around in a forgotten corner of a rail yard or somewhere.

    Either can be rebuilt like the bionic man..we have the technology.

  10. ^ Seriously? That is beyond infuriating - a total outrage. They better find it.