Thursday, November 08, 2012

At the CTA, you can rehab in any color - as long as it's white

click images for larger view
The CTA is in the middle of Red Ahead, a welcome $86 million upgrade of 10 Red Line stations - not total rebuilds, but extensive repairs and reconfiguration, with new lighting, doors and finishes.  All in all, this has been an attractive alternative to such money-pit projects as the estimated $200 million+ cost of renovating the Wilson station.  [The Chicago Sun-Times has recently been reporting on how money gushes like a geyser in the city's Public Building Commission.]
At Argyle, as in the other stations in the rehab, there are new, handsome glass-filled entrance walls renovated platforms and canopies, and a clean, open design, all accomplished, as in the other stations, during a fairly short six-week shutdown.

The only thing missing is color.  About 20 years ago, as part of renovation that cost all of $250,000, the Argyle station , which serves a neighborhood with a substantial Vietnamese, Cambodian and Chinese population, was repainted in colors associated in China with good luck and keeping away evil (red), and with longevity - also infidelity, jealousy and lust - take your pick (green).
The new Argyle is white, white, white.   Very nice, very generic.  Would it have cost that much more to give each station a bit of personality?  There are a lot of blank walls, so maybe the color will come from the $525,000 in artwork the CTA is currently considering for seven of the rehabbed stations, including Argyle.


The Public Square Bear said...

Cleanliness and thrift are the orders of the day.

Bryn Mawr station should be so lucky as to get the white subway tile treatment received by Argyle & Morse stations.

Have you seen the crappy tile they're putting up in there? It looks like a second-rate bathroom rehab with mismatched tiles and they aren't even doing the whole station - just the stairwells.

Anonymous said...

I like the white a lot. I'd also like to see more stainless steel and glass. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the futuristic clean look.

Anonymous said...

Looks more like high school cafeteria than futuristic to me.

Unknown said...

Fear Not

The walls are white for now but there is a $550,000 CFP that was put out for the artwork to fill those spaces. At the meeting the CTA held at the Armory they said $45-90,000 will be spent per station. The artwork will be installed I believe late Spring.

The yellow is a kind of high -pitched version of an Asian architectural color. It is not what my 1st choice would have been.

More info and an excellent source of info on the Redline station projects:

Unknown said...

And here are the contract details from the CTA: