FEATURE 01 A NEW CTA STATION FOR THE CITY OF BROAD SHOULDERS
MINDY VIAMONTES, AIA PROJECT MANAGER | CHICAGO, IL
Known for its rumbling Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stations, historic architecture and miles of public beaches, it is obvious that the City of Chicago does not take a backseat to moving forward. Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has made a commitment to improving the city’s public transportation. To support this effort, EXP sought to design a modernized station, converging Chicago’s history with updated and efficient transportation features. In 2017, in the dense urban environment of historic Jeweler’s Row, CTA Washington/Wabash Elevated Train Station, affectionately known as “WaWa,” is the combination of two 120-year-old stations. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared the station, “a
new gold standard for what a new ‘L’ station should look like.” As the project manager, I was very proud of the accomplishments our team made on WaWa. The design we worked diligently to create, contributed to the evolution of public transportation in Chicago. The demolition and consolidation of the aging Randolph/Wabash and Madison/Wabash stations into one had been decided decades earlier, in the 1981 Master Plan for the Loop Elevated Systems. This new station would address the shortcomings of the two stations, while still serving riders of the Brown, Green, Orange, Pink and Purple lines on the elevated tracks.