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Take A Peek Inside The Fancy, New Washington-Wabash 'L' 'Superstation,' Opening Thursday

By Stephen Gossett in News on Aug 30, 2017 7:12PM

CDOT / Via Twitter

After more than two years of construction, the much-anticipated Washington-Wabash 'L' "superstation" is set to officially open in the Loop on Thursday. And while one could snag a glimpse from the street level of what appears to be the station's signature design element—its yawning, wavy platform canopy—the full view remained obstructed by construction and lack of access.

But we got a closer glimpse of what to expect tomorrow from the CTA newcomer—the first new Loop 'L' stop since the Harold Washington Library stop was erected in 1997—thanks to the Chicago Department of Transportation, which shared the image above and the two immediately below on social media on Wednesday.

CDOT / Via Twitter

CDOT / Via Twitter

Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin got himself a sneak peek and shared a few photos as well. His column on the station—with additional photos—is worth a read. He points out the unmistakable influence of voguish architect Santiago Calatrava (famed for the undulating, spire-y designs like Milwaukee Art Museum); but Kamin was won over, noting how it is intended to aesthetically complement the nearby Millennium Park, and that the functional needs of a transit station weren't sacrificed for overly fancy form. (The platforms stretch more than five feet wider than those found on the old Madison-Wabash and Randolph-Wabash stops.)

The new station, in Jewelers Row, opens on Thursday, Aug. 31 and will service Brown, Green, Orange, Pink and Purple lines. For transit geeks like us, it'll feel like Christmas Day.