Kedzie & Rockwell Stations - Brown Line Stations

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Location: Chicago, IL. Established urban northside Chicago neigbhorhood

Chicago has become a more desirable place to live and work in recent decades, spawning extensive neighborhood transformation and increased demand for mass transit, especially with the significant increase in gas prices. The City and owner of the Project has pushed to increase ridership on the public transit system.

This project is one phase of a multi-phased project designed to absorb significantly increasing ridership on one of Chicago's rapid transit lines. The pre-existing facilities had a short 6-car platform boarding length, thus considerably disabling ridership at that location. The central intention of this project was to create a longer, more accessible train platform in order to increase ridership on the entire line.

The Project is made up of two transit stations connected by rapid transit. Their programs, intent, constraints, and form are identical. Given their proximity to one another, their neighborhood surroundings differ only slightly. The neighborhood in which the Project is located contains small commercial districts and a mixture of high density single family bungalows and small unit housing. The urban fabric is tightly woven and historically reinforced. Community involvement was a critical component of the development of the Project in order to satisfy the needs of the Owner while maintaining the integrity of the neighborhood.

The previous facilities lacked a sense of street presence. One was set back a good distance from the sidewalk, the other lacked a sense of scale and was uninviting to users and passerby. The new Project station houses improve the adjacent commercial districts by providing a strong street presence. They are sited next to the sidewalk, strengthening the face of the commercial district's street wall. An arched, metal canopy provides shelter for users within the stationhouse, and reaches out over the sidewalk, welcoming users into the facility. The station houses are simple glass and steel structures, permitting full visibility into and out of the facility. Its transparent nature increases security, allows users to wait inside while they watch for incoming trains, and harks back to the city's strong steel and glass architectural aesthetic. A gentle slope allows all users access to a new wooden platform. Upgraded lighting, utilities, and security were provided for in the new construction of the platforms. The wood platform themselves were designed in keeping with original wood structures of the pre-existing facility. Several shelters and unique site furniture have been placed along the length of the platforms to provide comfort for passengers awaiting trains.

The result of the Project has been one of great success. The new station houses provide full accessibility to a higher capacity rapid transit network. More importantly, the station houses have become small landmarks within an already established urban fabric with community members take pride in.

Read more at this project's website.

Lessons learned: Had to be creative with design since property acquisition wasn't possible; keep community involved from the beginning and througout

Transect Zone(s): T4 general.
Status: Complete
Project or Plan's Scale: Corridor
Features: Transit oriented development.
Land area (in acres): 1
Total built area (in sq. ft.): 36000
Retail area (in sq. ft.):
Office area (in sq. ft.):
Industrial area (in sq. ft.):
Number of hotel units:
Civic uses (type and size): At Grade Transit Station (station house 1250 sq ft, platform 6000 sq ft)
Parks & green space (in acres):
Project team designers: Muller & Muller, LTD
Project team developers: Chicago Transit Authority

Previous site status: Redevelopment

Starting/Ending date of construction/implementation: - Present