U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined me yesterday in officially unveiling the renovated CTA Loyola Red Line station and plaza. Also present at the official dedication were Loyola University President Rev. Michael Garanzini, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, CTA President Forrest Claypool and CTA Chairman Terry Peterson.
The collaborative $20 million project included station and track infrastructure upgrades, a reconfigured pedestrian crossing and a new open-air community plaza adjacent to the station, creating a safer, more inviting environment for commuters and pedestrians. All projects were completed earlier this fall.
The dedication marked Senator Durbin’s first visit to the 49th Ward since July, 2011, when he joined me in announcing the acquisition of $11 million in federalfunding to support construction of the project. Loyola University invested an additional $6.9 million in real estate acquisitions, business relocations and streetscape improvements to create the beautiful plaza that now graces the Sheridan Road entrance to the station.
With the completion of the Loyola station project, all four CTA rail stations in the 49th Ward are now fully renovated. The Howard station was entirely rebuilt in 2009 and the Morse and Jarvis stations were gut rehabbed in 2012.
As Mayor Emanuel pointed out, more people take the CTA in one month than all of Amtrak nationwide all year. “Modernizing [the CTA] has been a single focus of the City’s,” he added.
“The Loyola CTA Station is the front door to Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus and one of the busiest commuter stations on the north side,” said Father Garanzini. “The important structural and safety renovations made to the station were critical to ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone who passes through it each day, and we are delighted with the end result.”
I noted that not only is the Loyola station the front door to the university’s campus, “it is also the southern gateway to Rogers Park and the 49th Ward.” With the Loyola station rehabilitation, every Rogers Park commuter will now enjoy a safe and inviting station from which to board the train.
Construction continues on a four-story, mixed use building immediately north of the new plaza (see rendering on the left). The building, owned by Loyola University, will contain approximately 15,000 square feet of first-floor retail space and house 41 one-bedroom apartments.
The building is scheduled for occupancy next summer and will nicely complement the new stationhouse and plaza.
If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to check out the renovated station and plaza.