Uptown Chunk: The Wilson Station Overhaul Is Moving Along Nicely

The new platform canopies and elevator are starting to take shape. Photo: John Greenfield

The massive, $203 million reconstruction of the Wilson Red Line stop in the Uptown neighborhood has made impressive progress over the last few weeks. The canopies for the new platform are taking shape, as is the chunky structure of the shaft for the new elevator that will finally make the station wheelchair accessible.

The station was built in 1923, and in recent years it had fallen into disrepair, making it a three-time winner of RedEye’s “Crust Station” contest. The renovation includes replacing and relocating 2,200 feet of the track, and transforming the stop into a new transfer point between the Red and Purple lines.

CTA rendering of the station, looking west on Wilson.

The project will also build a much roomier station house, with three entrances and plenty of sleek, modern surfaces, including a glassed-in main entrance on the south side of Wilson, with a twenty-foot-high ceiling. As a nod to the station’s history, its original façade—whose stately beaux arts clock tower was amputated more than half a century ago—will be restored to its former glory. Work began in fall 2014 and is slated for completion by fall 2017.

The view from Wilson, looking east. Photo: John Greenfield

The CTA and the city’s water department are currently hustling to complete the first phase of the project by next month. The goal of phase I is to be able to run trains on the new tracks. According to a post on the neighborhood site Uptown Update, there will be street closures for vehicular traffic on Wilson and Broadway as the CTA completes the construction of the new platform’s canopy and a sound wall, and the water department replaces a sewer line on Broadway.

It’s exciting to see this project take shape, since it will be a major enhancement for the community.