Eyes on the Street: A New Plaza Opens By the Loyola Red Line Station

Red Line Loyola Station post construction
The new north station entrance. The removal of the old station house created room for the plaza. Photo: Justin Haugens.

An inviting new plaza complete with benches opened by the renovated CTA Loyola Red Line station house this Tuesday. The $20 million cost was covered by Loyola University — whose classes started Monday — and federal grants.

The station is now accessible from the west on Loyola Avenue, which previously was exit-only, and the south, where the west leg of Loyola meets Sheridan Road.

The landscaped and subtly-lit plaza replaces a station house that jutted north from the train viaduct. The CTA repaired parts of the viaduct and installed brighter lighting underneath. (The station upgrades and viaduct repairs cost $5.7 million.) A cross-hatched graphic was applied to the intersection of Sheridan and the east leg of Loyola, while the crosswalk just north of the viaduct was removed:

Red Line Loyola Station post construction
A graphic design was applied to the Loyola and Sheridan intersection. Photo: Justin Haugens.

Loyola University is rapidly building out in Rogers Park in a very transit-oriented way, by closing Kenmore Avenue to become a pedestrian-only street and building rental housing along Albion Avenue, within one block of the train station. The university also built The Morgan, a residential, mixed-use building with ground-floor retail immediately south of the station. The building under construction by the north side of the plaza will house ground-floor retail, with possibly a Panera bakery and offices above.

Red Line Loyola Station post construction
Looking north at the plaza and at a new Loyola University building under construction. Photo: Justin Haugens.
  • simpleobservation

    They should remove the benches, it will encourage loitering. That’s what the city does everywhere else right?

  • Anonymous

    Nice story, and it’s very true that Loyola is building out a denser and more pedestrian-oriented community. One correction: the plaza is built on the former site of a one-story commercial building that housed a mini-McDonald’s and a bank branch. The old station house and entrance was underneath the tracks and did not extend north into the plaza space, as it does now.

  • If you’re not joking, I disagree. The benches and loitering should occur.

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