But what the hell . . .
As Graham Garfield's invaluable Chicago-L.org website relates, the State-Lake station is one of the city's oldest, dating all the way back to 1895, and actually predates by a couple of years the completion of what has come to be known as the Loop "L". The first of many renovations took place in 1913, leaving only the outer walls of the station houses.
As can be seen in the above photo,
So, I was royally p.o.'d a couple of months ago to discover the north windows had been replaced with a shear wall of what appeared to be locked plywood cabinets, and was all set to express my anger in the usual splenetically crafted post. Fortunately, my talent for procrastination meant that before I wound up getting to it, a rehab was unveiled that, while trashing those 100 year-old walls, brings a new openness and splash of color to the derelict station.
On both the north and south sides of station, there is now an almost continuous strip of window panes and, below them, another strip of light panels that actually change color in animated rotation.
No, it's not cutting edge either as architecture or art. The window strips are starkly generic, the light panels pretty rudimentary. Given, however, the abject, abandoned-in-time, flaking paint stations such as at Randolph and Wabash, the update to State-Lake is a definite civic improvement, and the cheery, sliding strips of color a welcome relief to the dark gloom of a Chicago winter.