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Historic Green Line Station to Become... A Library?

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Jul 23, 2011 6:00PM

Photo of the historic Green Line station house by Zol87
Generally, CTA stations of the past shutter down and either disappear into oblivion or become new stations. The Garfield Green Line CTA stop first opened in time to service riders going to the World's Fair in 1893, but then shut down and reopened in the early 2000s. Two Washington Park community groups are hoping to revive the Garfield Green Line stop and transform the historic station into a library and community center to serve Washington Park and the surrounding area.

Cecilia Butler, president of the Washington Park Advisory Council, has reportedly worked on this project for about 15 years before finally being able to present it before the CTA board last year. Both the Washington Park Advisory Council and the Greater Washington Park Community Development Cooperation want to see the historic site become a communal space where residents can gather to "view cultural artifacts from the neighborhood, check out books, access the Internet, wait for transit and meet in a safe environment."

Butler argues that the renovation and revival of the station could assist residents as well as tourists, providing information about surrounding museums (including museums at the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry). Although costs to renovate the old station house aren't clear, Butler insists that the proposed renovation is a necessity:

"It's needed," Butler told Going Public about the community center. "We in Washington Park, we need community pride."

It would certainly be exciting to see this historic station turned into a lively spot and bolster community pride, but could it draw in more riders near Washington Park and Hyde Park?