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The Green Line's Historic Garfield Station is Getting A Major Makeover

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jul 27, 2016 9:56PM

Rendering of Garfield Green Line Gateway Project

Washington Park lost out on a major potential boon on Wednesday with the reported loss of the Obama libraryto Jackson Park—but one of the area’s major transit stops is getting some development love.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Tuesday a $25 million dollar TIGER grant that will fund updates to the Garfield Green Line. Perhaps most noteworthy, the grant includes a partnership with Arts + Public Life Initiative—the venture between University of Chicago and artist/community builder Theaster Gates—and will refurbish the historically significant Garfield station house. Built during the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1892, it is among the oldest standing transit stations in America.

The Garfield station is situated just west of Arts Incubator, the Gates-helmed space that includes exhibition room and a currency-exchange-turned café.

Davis said the grant will “help renew, and reenergize the community.” “Community activists have been advocating for this type of development for years and they deserve to share in the credit for this significant investment,” Davis said in a press release.

The grant will also provide upgrades to the platform itself and the streets outside the stop. Planned station improvements include extended canopies, elevator and escalator upgrades and public art installations. On Garfield Ave., there are planned bike lanes, new landscaping and added pedestrian crosswalks.

Rendering of Garfield Green Line Gateway Project