Rehabs Planned for Quincy, Cottage Grove Stations

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CTA president Dorval Carter Jr. and Mayor Emanuel at the Quincy station. Photo: CTA

On Friday and this morning the city held events to announce planned improvements to two different historic stations: the Quincy stop in the Loop, and the Cottage Grove station in Woodlawn, which will be the nearest ‘L’ stop to the Obama library. Both facilities date back to the 1890s.

The Friday morning event heralded a $1.2 million renovation of the Quincy Loop station, which make the stop wheelchair accessible while preserving its historic appearance. The project is slated for completion by the end of the year.

The Quincy station serves more than 2.2 million riders a year via the Brown, Orange, Pink, and Purple lines, and it’s a major transfer point for 10 CTA bus routes, Union Station and the LaSalle Street Metra stop.

“The renovation of the historic Quincy station is the next step on the path to ensuring every CTA station in Chicago is accessible to every resident of Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement. The transit agency recently announced plans to make all of its train stops wheelchair-friendly – over the next 20 years. The Quincy stop will get two new elevators on the inbound and outbound platforms.

Other improvements include stair replacement, painting and lighting upgrades. The mezzanine-level ceiling will receive new, vintage-style aluminum panels, while new light fixtures will be installed to complement the station’s original features. The elevator tower exteriors will be decorated with a pattern referencing the one present on the station’s railings.

The Quincy station, which was built in 1897, has been restored a few times over the years, most recently in 1988. It still includes many original decorative features, including pressed metal wreaths and fluted pilasters, or decorative columns, on the stationhouse façade. The ticket agent’s booth was restored in the 1980s using the original 19th Century design.

The Cottage Grove Green Line station. Image: Google Street View
The Cottage Grove Green Line station. Image: Google Street View

This morning Emanuel, as well as Congress Bobby Rush and transportation chief Rebekah Scheinfeld announced plans for the rehab of the Cottage Grove station in Woodlawn, plus a new 70-unit mixed-use transit-oriented development by the station called Woodlawn Station.

The Cottage Grove station was originally built in 1893 as part of the city’s first elevated rail line—the South Side ‘L’ that served the World’s Columbian Exposition. The original station was torn down and replaced with current station in 1991. The stop serves more than 1,000 customers on an average weekday, with more than 372,000 riders in 2016.

“We are investing in the future of the CTA, and in the future of Woodlawn,” Emanuel said in a statement. “Investments like this one strengthen communities, attract private investment and drive neighborhood growth.”

The proposal for Cottage Grove proposes visual, architectural and lighting treatments outside of the station. Options under consideration include architectural screening and community identifiers along sidewalks and on the ‘L’ structure. Changes to the station itself could include new canopies and reconfigured stairs.

The Cottage Grove plan is still in the early stages, and there’s no budget, let alone funding, for the project yet. The CTA and the Chicago Department of Transportation are currently developing a full project scope and an estimated budget, and detailed plans should be finalized later this year.

The station is a mile west from the future site of the Obama library, at 63rd and Stony Island Avenue. The stop is close to MetroSquash, a recreational and educational center, the Woodlawn Resource Center, a new residence hall for the University of Chicago, five new affordable housing apartment buildings, the first market-rate apartment development to be built in Woodlawn in decades, plus new restaurants and coffee shops.

The station is also included in CDOT’s upcoming federally funded Walk to Transit project to improve pedestrian safety and access to 10 CTA stations throughout Chicago.  CDOT identified the Cottage Grove station for improvement based on crash history, recent neighborhood development, connectivity to other transit options, and neighborhood demand for improved walkability.

  • david vartanoff

    The right plan would be to restore the L all the way to Stony Island including a transfer stop at the Metra Electric. That would be a gateway to both the Obama Library and the proposed upgraded golf course inJackson Park.
    Ultimately, the Ashland Branch of the Green Line should extend to Midway so that trains from Stony Island can afford South Side residents a quick route to the airport.

  • How much track are we talking about in total, for each branch extension?

  • david vartanoff

    If my Chicago street math is correct, Cottage Grove to Stony Island is two miles. (800 address No’s/nominal blocks. The structural steel for the distance to the Metra embankment is lying in a pile next to the L just west of S. Calumet Ave.
    https://www.google.com/maps/@41.780273,-87.6171696,3a,75y,270.79h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJ-dOkygdpTIx6PUq8J_HMA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

    The repair/reconstruction had been done and then a local minister complained that passing L trains would disturb Sunday services. (ofcourse he had not even been boen let alone acquired the church building when the L was built, but he had political juice…
    Anyway, the point is that the steel, paid for by the Feds, was stored here after it was taken back down between Cottage and Dorchester.
    Given that much of the surrounding land has been bulldozed, a modern fully ADA multimodal station connecting the L to the MED, and local bus lines would facilitate visiting the coming Library, as well as generally upgrade transit in he area.

    As to the distance required to link the L at 63rd & Ashland to Midway by the addressing system 4 miles across to Cicero and less than a mile to the existing Orange Line terminal and yards. Not cheap, but brings crosstown transit to an otherwise transit desert, access to Midway without going through downtown.
    Operationally, my plan would restore the 58th St station on the Green Line for JP to MDW trains to reverse to head west, or MDW-JP trains to head east. There are track switches there to make this possible.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    “If my Chicago street math is correct, Cottage Grove to Stony Island is two miles. (800 address No’s/nominal blocks.)” Yes, there are generally eight full blocks to a mile in Chicago but, no, Cottage Grove (800 East) isn’t two miles from Stony Island (1600 East).

  • david vartanoff

    Right, John. After posting…I thought again. One mile. So even less cost.

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