Architecture of Chicago CTA Stations

July 07, 2014

Quincy CTA

For many of us, riding the CTA can be a mundane experience, but if we take a closer look at the architecture of the train stations, we will discover some interesting design. With an eclectic mix of more historic and more contemporary, the architecture of CTA stations is worth a look.

The first elevated stations were built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and engineers designed them, rather than architects. The first station architect for the elevated train system was William Gibb, When he designed them he had a great volume of riders in mind, but today they handle what we would consider to be a small volume in our city of around three million inhabitants. Only six of Gibb’s stations remain today, and all of them are unsurprisingly on the rickety ole’ Brown Line.

When you see a Classical Revival style to the terra cotta ornamentation of a CTA station, then you can guess that it was designed in the 1920s. The city was growing and booming, and the El stations expanded, too.
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