Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How Far We've Come

The Wilson North auxiliary entrance

The city issued a lengthy press release Monday about the official opening of the Wilson station. It gave a good summary of the changes and improvements:
  • "The new main stationhouse, located on the south side of Wilson Avenue, is equipped with two elevators, two escalators, wider stairwells and additional turnstiles, making the station fully accessible to customers with disabilities as well as providing more convenient and comfortable service
  • A second new, modern station entrance is now open on the north side of Wilson.
  • Purple Line Express service at the new station, which allows riders to easily transfer between Red and Purple Line trains for the first time
  • New art in the main stationhouse by world-renowned engineer, architect and artist Cecil Balmond
  • The opening of a second new, much larger platform from which to board northbound trains
  • Relocated track columns at street and sidewalk level to greatly improve visibility for pedestrians as well as vehicular and bicycle traffic.

The mayor and CTA today unveiled public artwork that was created especially for the station by Cecil Balmond, a world-famous artist, designer, and engineer known for his large-scale public art installations around the world.

The artwork, known as Arpeggios, is a multi-faceted sculpture suspended from the main stationhouse enhanced by a reflective wall and LED lighting. Customers moving through the turnstiles will notice the strong geometric shapes of the artwork as light is reflected to create the feel of continuous movement. The artwork celebrates the 1920’s Art Deco style found in Uptown’s historic architecture, and echoes the look of the Gerber Building across the street, which is currently undergoing reconstruction."

Still on the to-do list?

"The project will be fully complete in January 2018. Between now and then, the CTA will complete remaining components of the Wilson project, including:
  • CTA will open a third station entrance on Sunnyside Avenue.
  • Full restoration of the historic Gerber Building at Broadway and Wilson, which was built in 1923. CTA is currently seeking a tenant for the iconic building."

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