click images for larger viewThe dark tent that had enveloped the new Apple store at North Avenue and Halsted is finally coming off. The design, by regular Apple architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, appears to be a larger retread of an existing store in Scottsdale, Arizona, a rectangular box enclosed in glass at either end.
According to Gary Allen's incredibly exhaustive infoAppleStore.com, initially created in 2003 to support the "Overnighters" camping out before a new store's opening and now grown to nearly 2,000 pages, the 15,000 square foot store has essentially been finished since June, down to interior furniture, but is awaiting the completion of the broad plaza to the building's west and the rehab of the adjoining North and Clybourn Red Line subway station.
. . . Green squares in polished metal
Yondorf Hall housed a liquor store that was a magnet for local wino's.
in a history on another invaluable website, Graham Garfield's Chicago_L.org, the station was unique in a number of ways. It was the only one with an above-ground headhouse replacing the standard below-ground mezzanine. Designed by Shaw, Naess and Murphy, it had a distinctive Art Moderne feel, with curved elevations to the east and west, and the interior was generously lit through tall windows, subdivided into panes in a geometric grid.
So last October, Apple entered into an agreement with the CTA. In exchange for being able to repave the area east of the bus turnaround that is now the new store's plaza, Apple is kicking in nearly $4 million towards the rehab of the station, now serving 4,500 passengers a day. $2,100,000 is going directly to the CTA to update the interiors.
Apparently being informed of how things can actually work in Chicago, Apple claimed the rights to rehab the exterior of the station - the part in immediately vicinity to their gleeming new outpost - for themselves, allocating another $1.8 million to the task. Much of the original character of the station has been stripped away along with the grime. The original mottled brick that gave the building a subtle polychromatic accent has been completely replaced with bricks of monochrome buff. The geometric grid-paned windows have been supplanted with something much more contemporary - and generic, the major feature being top transoms that should aid natural ventilation. The former curving entrance along the west is now choppily angled. It's a much brighter, much blander building.
The Apple store is expected to open this fall. How far along, do you think, will the CTA have the interior rehab by then?