Renovated Armitage station is seen looking north on July 13, 2008. The historic station house was restored, while an expansion was added to the back (behind the metal screens) and a plaza flanks the east side of the Classical Revival headhouse. For an enlarged view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Armitage (2000N/1000W)
Armitage Avenue and Sheffield Avenue, Lincoln Park

Service Notes:

Brown Line: Ravenswood

Purple Line: Evanston Express

Accessible Station

Quick Facts:

Address: 944 W. Armitage Avenue
Established: June 9, 1900
Original Line: Northwestern Elevated Railroad
Previous Names: Center Street

Skip-Stop Type:

Station (1949-1983)

Station (1983-1995)

Rebuilt: 2006-08
Status: In Use

History:

The path of the initial section of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad, from Lake and Wells Streets to Broadway and Wilson on the what was then the far North Side, was cleared in 1895 and erection of the steel was begun January 23, 1896. Financial difficulties delayed construction several times, necessitating extensions of deadlines for commencement of service in the company's franchise with the city. All-night shifts were eventually required to complete the structure on Christmas Day 1899, days before their deadline to begin service. But most of the stations were incomplete December 31 and, after some negotiating, another extension was obtained. Northwestern Elevated service between the Loop and Wilson began on May 31, 1900. However, due to a two-week strike construction was not complete at all stations1. As a result, seven stations, including Center Street (Armitage's original name), opened 1-2 weeks after the inauguration of "L" service. Center station finally opened for service on June 9, 19002.

The interior of Armitage station is seen looking northeast on May 6, 1986. The station historic integrity remained high, with most original materials intact. The ticket agent's booth here is original, but was removed by the late 1990s. For a larger view, click here. (CTA Photo, Graham Garfield Collection)

The headhouse was one of several stations built from a design by William Gibb on what is now the Brown Line. Architecturally, it is similar to those still at Chicago, Sedgwick, Belmont, Fullerton, and others. Constructed entirely of brick with terra-cotta trim, the Classical Revival design was inspired by the work of the great 16th century Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio3. The bold modeling of the details, especially the columns and segmented arched windows, is characteristic of Italianate work of the late 19th century. The interior featured plaster walls with extensive wood detailing in the door and window frames, ceiling moldings, and tongue-in groove chair rail paneling. Nearly all of this detail remains today, and was recently stripped of its layers of paint and refinished. The original fare collection booth has been replaced.

The dual side platforms at Armitage are covered in the center by two peaked-roof canopies of steel support with a gently-curved bracket and intricate latticework, covered by a corrugated metal roofing. Originally, these covered about half the platform length, but the platforms were subsequently lengthened multiple times to allow longer trains to berth. Many sections of the original platform area still has original railing, which consisted of tubular railings and posts with panels of decorative, vaguely diamond shaped metalwork inside. The platform extensions have plain wooden railings.

Under the initial Northwestern Elevated configuration, Armitage, whose platforms are on the outer tracks, was a local station, inaccessible by the expresses utilizing the inner tracks. After the State Street Subway opened in 1943 and the route configurations were overhauled in 1949, Armitage became a station on the Ravenswood Line, initially serving only "A" trains under the skip-stop express scheme, but eventually called at by all trains.

An interlocking tower was added over the inbound platform in the early 1940s to observe and control the new crossovers at the entrance to the State Street Subway. Armitage Interlocking is no longer controlled from Armitage Tower, however. Armitage Tower was turned into field offices, first for the North District transportation section and later for the Signal Department.

 

Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project

By 2004, ridership had exploded on the Brown Line -- an 79% increase since 1979 and a 27% increase since 1998 -- that during peak periods many trains were at crush-loaded, resulting in commuters left standing on platforms unable to board the loaded trains, sometimes waiting as one or two trains passed before they were physically able to board. The problem in large part was that all Brown Line stations could only accommodate six-car trains (with the exception of Merchandise Mart, Chicago, Fullerton and Belmont, which could already hold eight-car trains), which, along with the limitations of the cab signal system, limited the line's capacity.

This aerial artist's rendering shows the platform-level design for the renovated Armitage station. The original, historic canopies will remain in place and be refurbished, with elevators added next to them. For a larger view, click here. (Image provided courtesy of the Chicago Transit Authority)

As a result, the CTA decided to plan for the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project, the largest capital improvement project undertaken by the CTA at the time (surpassing even the Douglas Renovation Project, which was the largest up to that point). The main objectives of the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project are to expand the line's overall ridership capacity by lengthening station platforms to accommodate eight rather than six-car trains, rehabilitate rail infrastructure and stations, provide for station enhancements to meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and upgrade or replace traction power, signal and communication equipment. By far, the largest part of the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project was the station renovations. Of the Brown Line's 19 stations, only one (Merchandise Mart) was not touched at all due to its modern construction (1988) and ability to berth eight-car trains.

On April 13, 2004, the CTA announced that it had officially received a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). However, in May 2004, CTA received construction bids for the project that substantially exceeded the budget. As such, the Chicago Transit Board voted on June 9, 2004 to reorganize the project into several discrete pieces to help attract more competitive construction bids. Station renovation work was modified and grouped into five separate packages according to location to help reduce the overall cost of station construction. Armitage station was grouped with Sedgwick, and Chicago in a bid package, all of which were designed by the same consultant, Gonzalez Hasbrouck Architects. Station designs were also revised to reduce costs. Most changes concentrated on non-customer areas such as reducing the size of janitor closets, employee restrooms, electrical rooms and communication rooms. Other areas that were studied for cost reduction were standardizing common station elements, the use of less expensive materials, canopy designs and coverage, and temporary station closures to provide contractors better access to the sites.

The Armitage/Sedgwick/Chicago contract was the second of the reorganized station packages to be bid out. At the September 14, 2005 board meeting, a $45.5 million contract for the renovation of these stations was awarded to FHP Tectonics Corporation.

 

Station Design

This artist's rendering shows the street-level design for the renovated Armitage station. The historic station house will be renovated with an addition built behind and next to it. The historic platform canopy is visible at platform level above. The Brown Line-standard railings and modern lights shown here have since been revised to retain and fill-in the historic railings and to use more sympathetic light standards. For a larger view, click here. (Image provided courtesy of the Chicago Transit Authority)

The 1900-built historic station house was preserved and restored in the new facility, but also expanded with a new addition built behind it. The new expanded station entrance has far more circulation space with more turnstiles and farecard vending machines. The historic station house had its exterior restored, with the brickwork and the masonry and terra cotta restored. The interior was gutted, but was rebuilt with new plaster walls and wood moldings and wainscoting that replicated the original designs. A new stainless steel booth, standard for the new Brown Line stations featuring stainless steel lower panels and roof and glass panels around the sides for a high level of visibility, was installed. The primary change to the historic station house, as seen from the street, is the addition of a new doorway on the east elevation of the building where there had originally been a window. The additional doors were added to increase the ingress and egress capacity of the station house, which would get crowded during high-traffic rush periods.

The addition on the rear of the station house was connected by removing the rear wall of the historic structure. The addition is not a solid structure, however. The front elevations of the expansion, which flanks the historic station house and projects to the east from the rear of the building, are tall screens consisting of metal grilles rather than solid walls. The rear expansion features a solid back wall fronting the various ancillary equipment rooms behind it and decorated with a mosaic mural, concrete floors, and a suspended metal ceiling with recessed lighting. New, wider stairs and elevators take customers to the boarding platforms.

The dual platforms were renovated with new decking, railings, lighting, signage, and other fixtures. The elevator towers, located at the middle of the historic canopies, are clad in black glazed tile within the spaces framed by the steel skeleton, which remains visible in the corners and crossbeams. The black tile allows the elevator towers to be less noticeable and fade into the background rather than contrasting with the historic canopies. The northbound tower is located outboard of the platform, while the southbound elevator is located within the confines of the platform, and projects through the roof of the historic canopy, due to space constraints caused by the adjacent building.

The existing original, historic canopies were retained and refurbished, stripped of decades of paint, repainted dark brown, and topped with new corrugated metal hipped roofs. The new railings are a standard design for the rebuilt Brown Line elevated stations, with thick tubular top and bottom horizontal members with rectangular panels with a grid pattern cut out. The exceptions are the sections over the street, which have the same tubular frame but whose grilles are reproductions of the original Northwestern Elevated diamond grilles. The railings and light poles, as well as the other new metalwork, are hot-dipped galvanized, but over the street are painted brown to harmonize with the surrounding Armitage-Halsted Historic District. The light poles are integrated into the railing posts, with modern luminaires on most of the platforms and gooseneck lights over the street. Canopies over the new stairways feature enclosures of galvanized steel frames, panels matching the design of the platform railing grilles, and flat roofs. The platforms are finished with windbreaks integrated into the railing system, with the glass panels protected by metal grilles matching the railings and station name signs integrated into the back panel, benches with sandboxes integrated into them, A/V signs suspended over the platforms on long horizontal arms, and Transit Information panels. Auxiliary exits are provided to the south side of Armitage Avenue, across from the main entrance, to allow for more egress capacity and better connections to eastbound #73 Armitage buses.

Other improvements included new signage; electrical, communications, and HVAC equipment; new customer heaters on the platforms; and a new public announcement system.

 

Station Renovation Work

During station construction, Armitage, Sedgwick, and Chicago will remain open on weekdays, but may experience up to six weekend closures during the construction period when all three stations will be closed at the same time to allow construction crews unlimited access to station platforms.

Work at Armitage station contract began in autumn 2006. Early work included preparatory work at the station site, as well as work at 939 W. Armitage, a historic building adjacent to Armitage station on the east side of the station on the south side of Armitage Avenue. The masonry building with an ornamental front facade is a contributing structure in the Armitage-Halsted Historic District and thus was required to be at least partially preserved. However, the new, expanded northbound platform must occupy part of the footprint of the building. So, the west half of the building was demolished and the east half preserved, with a new west elevation built to enclose the building and allow it to continue to be used, similar in fashion to how the backs of several buildings were removed for the construction of the State Street Subway incline in the same area during the early 1940s. During autumn, crews demolished the interior of 939 W. Armitage, preparing for the demolition of the west half of the building.

Also during autumn 2006, crews installed the new steel stringers for the extended platforms, beginning at the far south end of the platforms and working north. Only the southernmost hundred feet or so were initially installed, with the wood decking applied to these sections beginning the last week of December 2006.

Diesel locomotive S-503 and three flatcars with dumpsters load up debris from the adjacent 939 W. Armitage building -- being partially demolished to make way for the extended northbound platform -- during the first south-end "linecut" on December 12, 2006. For a larger view, click here. (CTA Photo)

During the first weekend of December 2006, the first south-end "linecut" -- times when Brown Line service was cut back from its normal route, terminating at the south end temporarily at Fullerton station, with service between Fullerton and the Loop provided by free shuttle buses and Red Line trains -- took place, allowing for the weekend closure provided for in the Armitage/Sedgwick/Chicago station contract. The weekend closure allowed crews to perform construction that can only be done when trains are not running. At Armitage, crews demolished the west half of 939 W. Armitage. A special work train consisting of diesel locomotive S-503 and four flatcars with dumpsters hauled the building debris from Armitage to Skokie Shops to be unloaded throughout the weekend.

Installation of additional stringers, joists, and decking for the platform extensions did not resume until spring 2007. By the end of April, the stringers had been installed all the way to the south end of the existing southbound platform, with decking covering most of that length. Steel had also begun to be set for the auxiliary exit stair from the southbound platform to the south side of Armitage Avenue.

Also during spring 2007, crews began erecting a temporary entrance on the south side of Armitage Avenue, in the location of what would ultimately be the auxiliary exits, to allow the main entrance at Armitage to close for renovation. During March 2007, a temporary wooden station house was constructed, consisting of a simple wood frame structure with plywood walls and a flat, slanted roof. Inside, a customer assistant booth was built-in as a room with windows and a door to interact with customers occupying the southeast corner of the interior. The building sat dormant for several months as other work continued.

A second linecut was performed at the south end of the Brown Line during the first weekend of May 2007. However, unlike the first south-end linecut in December 2006, trains were allowed to service Armitage station, terminating at the southbound platform, changing ends, and then returning back to Kimball. Trains were crossed back to the northbound track through Armitage Interlocking. With no rail service to Sedgwick, Chicago, and Merchandise Mart stations from Friday night, May 4 through the end of the Sunday, May 6 service day, bus shuttles operated from Fullerton to Clark/Lake. During the May linecut, crews erected the steel frame for the northbound platform elevator tower, removed the old, narrow wooden platform at the south end of the northbound platform and installed new steel stringers and joists to connect the new platform extension already built south of the station to the existing full-width platform over Armitage Avenue. When the station reopened Monday morning, May 7, the north end of the southbound platform utilized part of the newly-built full-width platform.

One of several pre-assembled stair sections -- this one being the top flight of stairs of the auxiliary exit from the northbound platform -- is being lowered into place by crane on May 21, 2007. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

During May 2007, personnel continued installing wood decking and began installing permanent back railings on the new sections at the south ends of both platforms. On May 21, the stairway from the northbound platform to the south side of Armitage Avenue -- ultimately leading to an auxiliary exit, but more immediately for use at the temporary entrance -- was set in place. The stairway was pre-assembled, with the treads and riders, handrails, and canopy frame already installed. The stair sections -- three in all -- were lowered into place with a crane set in the middle of the street. Contractor crews began installing the canopy framing and roofing on the platform over the stairway in the following weeks. On June 11, the pre-assembled sections of the southbound stairs to the south side of Armitage Avenue were installed by crane.

In late May, crews began installing masonry walls around the steel elevator tower frame that had been erected during the linecut a few weeks earlier. First cinder block was installed, then the surfaces were clad in black tiles. Masonry work continued into mid-June.

During June, work accelerated to prepare the new platforms and the temporary entrance for service. During mid-June through July, work continued to install new permanent railings at south ends of the new platform extensions and around the new auxiliary stairs. Crews installed the canopy over southbound auxiliary stairway and continued to install railings, grilles, windbreaks, and other platform fittings. In late June, the sidewalks for temporary station entrance were poured.

The temporary entrance to Armitage station, a simple wood-frame structure on the south side of Armitage Avenue opposite the main entry, is seen looking southeast on opening day, July 23, 2007. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

During a one week period in mid-July the new platforms and temporary entrance were brought into service. On Monday, July 16, 2007, the platform extensions were brought into use and all trains are re-berthed to south ends of the northbound and southbound platforms. At the same time, the north 100 feet or so of both platforms were blocked off and removed from service for demolition. Signage and other items were relocated from the closed sections of platform to the new platforms. The new, permanent platform lights had not yet been installed on the light poles, so temporary lights were installed.

A week later, on Sunday, July 22, the fare equipment from the old Armitage station house was relocated to the temporary station house across the street. Bus fareboxes were temporary used while the turnstiles were disconnected and moved. At 5am, Monday, July 23, 2007, the temporary station entrance on the south side of Armitage Avenue came into use. Passengers access the platforms via the new auxiliary stairways installed during the previous two months. The old station house was fenced off and the stairs down from the platforms to old station house were barricaded. A new barrier was placed between the stairs on the old section of platform, taking another 100 feet or so of the old platform pout of service. Additional signage and platform furniture was relocated to the new platform. The temporary entrance is expected to be in place through early 2008.

With passengers relocated to the new platforms and temporary entrance, work accelerated on the new facilities on the north side of Armitage Avenue. In mid-July, crews begin selective demolition of the historic station house and demolition of the north- and southbound platforms north of the canopies. In early August, the new, permanent station name signs were installed on the newly-opened south platform extensions, replacing the old KDR station name signs that the contractor had temporarily mounted on the new backer plates with temporary wooden mounting brackets. On August 7, the contractor erected the structural steel framework for the elevator tower on the southbound platform. During September and October, crews installed the black masonry panels on the elevator tower exteriors, while work on installing the elevator cabs and equipment continued into spring 2008.

The Armitage station house is seen under renovation in this February 9, 2008 photo. The brick exterior has been cleaned and the openings in the walls, including the large doorway newly added on the side, are being prepared for the installation of new doors and windows. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Renovation of the historic station house began in late summer 2007 and continued into 2008. Installation of new masonry at the historic station house began in August, while installation of new structural steel took place during autumn. Restoration of the existing historic masonry exterior was also undertaken during autumn. Work was also progressing at platform level, with new wood platform decking installed in the middle of the platforms during late summer and, following the necessary steel work, at the far north ends of both platforms in early autumn. The historic hipped-roof platform canopies were renovated during autumn as well, with the old roof panels removed in October, the metal framework cleaned, repainted, and detailed in November, and new corrugated metal roof panels installed in December 2007.

Work continued throughout the facility in 2008, with the installation of the prefabricated staircases from the station house's paid area to each platform in early January. Between January and April, the permanent steel back railings were installed in the middle and north sections of both platforms, as were the permanent light fixtures. In February, the reproduction historic railing grilles over Armitage Avenue were installed. During the week of March 17, gooseneck light fixtures were installed on the sections of both platforms over and visible from Armitage Avenue. Other platform work included installation of blue tactile in late March, LED A/V signs in March and April, benches and gap fillers in April, and various signage through late winter and spring. Down in the station house, work continued throughout winter and spring to build out the new fare collection area and auxiliary rooms. Work included installing masonry and tile cladding on the rear wall and rooms, various electrical, communications and other systems, new flooring in the station house and paid area, plaster and woodwork in the historic station house, the new customer assistant booth, signage, and a new drip pan over the sidewalk in front of the station entrance.

The renovated interior of Armitage station is seen looking south in the unpaid area on June 9, 2008. The wood moldings and wainscoting is new but follows the original designs. The floors are granite rather than wood, as they originally were. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Contractor crews spent April and May finishing the details of the new facility. Tall screens of black metal grilles were installed between the station house and the east property line to create a barrier between the street and the expanded paid area. Other items installed during this period included the new sidewalk in front of the station, a compass rose on the sidewalk in front of the station entrance, bike racks in the small plaza on the east side of the station house, and the mosaic on the north wall of the station's paid area. In mid-May, the platform railings and light poles over Armitage Avenue were painted brown to fit with the historic streetscape of the surrounding landmark district. In late May, the acoustical sound-dampening panels began to be installed under the platform edge along the tracks and the grille panels were installed along the stairs from the station house to the platforms.

With construction nearly complete at Armitage station, the main station entrance reopened on Thursday, June 5, 2008. Upon the renovated main entrance reopening, the elevators came into use and Armitage became the 82nd of the CTA's 144 station to become accessible, with other ADA-compliant features including an accessible turnstile, tactile platform edging, gap fillers, TTY telephones and Braille signs. At the same time, the temporary entrance located on the south side of Armitage Avenue was closed and subsequently dismantled in the weeks after. The stairways down to the south side of Armitage were also closed in mid-June to allow for the installation of rotogates on the platforms and conversion of the stairs into auxiliary exits.

Modest work continued at Armitage station after the reopening, as the contractor completed landscaping and various other punchlist work. After the main entrance reopened, reproduction oak handrails were installed on the railing around the stair from the southbound platform to the station house. During July, the contractors installed the drip pan and lighting over the plaza in front of the auxiliary exits on the south side of Armitage, across from the main entrance. They also poured a new concrete deck and installed brick planters and signage in the plaza and installed the exit rotogates at the top of the exit stairs.

The Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project Full Funding Grant Agreement with the federal government requires that the CTA complete the entire project by the end of 2009.

 

Armitage station's dual side platforms are seen looking north on June 9, 2008. The middle section over the street and under the original canopies are treated more historically, with railings that feature replicas of the original grilles, some sections of original historic railings on the southbound platform, gooseneck lights, brown painted steel rather than galvanized steel, and the original, refurbished canopies. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)


 

Old Armitage (1900-2007) | New Armitage (2006-present)


Old Armitage station

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A 4000-series train passes Armitage. The control tower above the canopy was added later, early in the 1940s when the subway was built. Note the old-style station sign on the left. The destination sign on the front of the train is for the Evanston Express. (Photo by Joe Testagrose)

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A southbound 8-car Jackson Park-Howard "B" train is led by 6158 as it passes Armitage on August 20, 1970. (Photo by Joe Testagrose)

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Car 53 leads a fan trip celebrating CERA's 35th Anniversary of Mint Green and Alpine White PCC "L" cars (followed, out of frame, by cars 50 and 6101-6102) at Armitage on May 28, 1973. (Photo by Art Peterson, Collection of Joe Testagrose)

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During their first months on the system, cars 2401-2402 (the prototypes for the 2400-series) spent time on almost every line "stretching their legs" so to speak. Here, car 2401 brings up the rear of a 4-car train of 2400s at Armitage on October 31, 1976. (Photo by Art Peterson, Collection of Joe Testagrose)

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Car 2160 leads a six-car train of North-South Route 2000s painted in the platinum and black scheme past Armitage in 1982. (Photo by Leon Kay)

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1999 Historic Station Tour co-leader John Craib-Cox points out an architecturally interesting building in the neighborhood next to the Armitage station on the Brown Line. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The participants of the 2001 Historic Station Tour look at the historic Italianate facade of the Brown Line station at Armitage on November 4, 2001. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Guide John Craib-Cox of the Chicago Design Consortium discusses the architecture of the station and community in front of Armitage station during the 2001 Historic Station Tour on November 4, 2001. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Rocketing past the "local" station at Armitage, a southbound Red Line train led by car 2611 heads toward the State Street Subway portal on track 2 on June 10, 2001. (Photo by Mike Farrell)

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Passing the Brown Line stop at Armitage, a Red Line train led by car 2829 heads to downtown on the inside express track, looking northwest on June 10, 2001. (Photo by Mike Farrell)

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Car 3324 leads a two-car Brown Line train -- a typical Sunday consist -- stopped at Armitage station on June 10, 2001. Armitage Tower is now an office for a signal supervisor, the tower controls for Armitage Interlocking having been transferred to the new Webster Tower. (Photo by Mike Farrell)

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The old Armitage Tower is seen on the right in this view looking south from the Armitage station southbound platform on June 21, 2001. In later years, the old tower has housed offices of the CTA Signal Department. For many years, signal foreman Peter Vesic kept "L" car destination sign boxes with mylar roller curtains in the north windows, setting them to a different (often unusual) reading each day. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The Neo-Classical features of the brick and terra cotta Armitage station are evident in this October 11, 2002 view looking northwest at the historic building. The old-fashioned lights on the station are attractive, but not original (they are, in fact, a bit out of scale with the building's features). The doors and window frames were refinished. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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Armitage station, seen looking north from the south end of the outbound platform on May 10, 2003, is a well-preserved example of the Northwestern Elevated's local stations. Both canopies and much of the railing system remained intact and in good condition. The station fits in well with the historic district in which it's located. An inbound Brown Line train is pulling into the station, past the interlocking tower that was added in 1943. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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On its last day before closing, CTA personnel moved the fare equipment from the old station house to the temporary entrance across the street. Signs on the windows, seen on July 22 2007, warn passengers that they will enter across the street starting the next day. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

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This view of Armitage looking north on the outbound platform on July 23, 2007 shows the old platforms in their final hours before being blocked off for renovation. On this sunny Monday, the station is crowded with people enjoying the shops and restaurants around the station. Note the barricade near the tower on the inbound platform, closing off the far north end. Later that day, the barricade would be moved further south, closing off more off the platform for demolition and renovation. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

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The riveted steel supports and brackets and latticed back panel of Armitage station's original 1900-built canopy on the inbound platform is seen on July 23, 2007. The structure's later modifications and need for refurbishment are also evident. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

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Armitage station's turn-of-the-century inbound side platform, with its hipped roof canopy and steel supports, is seen looking northwest on July 23, 2007 with the historic buildings of the Armitage-Halsted Historic District in the background. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

 


New Armitage station

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The first new steel for the platform extensions has been set in place in this view looking north at Armitage station on November 30, 2006. The southernmost 50 feet or so of steel stringers and joists were installed in autumn 2006, then little platform work was done for another several months. The existing station in the background show how far south the longer platforms extended. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Contractor crews are hard at work behind the historic Armitage station house on February 23, 2007 rebuilding the foundations under the elevated structure columns. This area would eventually be enveloped by the expanded station house built behind the historic headhouse to expand and enlarge the facility. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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By spring 2007, installation of steel stringers and joists for the new, expanded platforms at Armitage had resumed. By the time of this April 30, 2007 view looking south as a Red Line train descends into the State Street Subway wood decking had begun to be installed as well. The steel extending out to the right will support the landing of the auxiliary exit stairs. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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During the second linecut at the south end of the Brown Line during the first weekend of May 2007 the new platform extensions and the old platforms were finally connected. The steel and decking needed to be added while no trains were passing the station. This view looking southeast on May 5, 2007 shows FHP contractors on the out-of-service Track 4 working on the new northbound platform decking. The "Motormen Stop here" sign in the lower right corner indicates to operators where to pull their train to on the southbound platform -- Armitage was the terminal during the linecut and trains used the southbound platform as a singe-track stub terminal -- before shutting down and changing ends to head back north. Note the new exterior wall built on the west elevation of 939 W. Armitage, a building adjacent to the station that had its west half removed to make room for the platform extension. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The northbound Armitage platform is seen looking northwest on May 5, 2007 during the second south end linecut. One of the tasks accomplished during the showdown was the installation of the steel frame for the elevator to the northbound platform, visible above the historic canopy. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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A new months later, the south platform extension was open and the new replicated press metal bays, cornices and ornamentation had been installed on the adjacent 939 W. Armitage building. Although many temporary elements, such as the lights and wooden railings with orange plastic construction fencing, are visible in this July 23, 2007 view looking southeast, the permanent decking, tactile edging, and most of the galvanized steel railings and grilles have been installed on the new platform. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

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This July 23, 2007 view looking northeast at the outbound platform at Armitage shows the historic canopy with the new elevator tower behind it. The tower has now been clad in cinderblock with a black tile facing. Later that day, the barricade seen on the left was moved further south to the middle of the canopy where the timetables are, blocking off more of the platform for renovation work to progress. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

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The new, extended south end of the Armitage inbound platform is seen looking southwest o July 23, 2007. The permanent decking, blue tactile edging, galvanized steel railings, and stainless steel benches/sandboxes are all in place. The permanent light poles -- an integrated part of the railing system -- are in, but the luminaires haven't been installed yet, leading to the use of temporarily lights on wooden posts. The old KDR station name signs have been temporarily reused until the new, permanent signs were installed a few weeks later. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

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The design and pattern of the hot-dripped galvanized steel railing system, with tubular horizontal members and rectangular grilles with a checkerboard pattern cut out, is seen looking east at the outbound platform at Armitage on July 23, 2007. Until the permanent signs were installed, the contractor took the old KDR station name signs and mounted them on the new backer plates, although they constructed a wooden mounting bracket so that they didn't puncture the frame until the permanent signs were installed. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

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The historic building at 939 W Armitage, a contributing structure in the Armitage-Halsted Historic District, is seen looking south on July 23, 2007. Because of its protected status, the CTA could not demolish the building but instead simply shaved off the several feet on the west half that were needed for the extended platform. By this time, the new reproduction pressed metal bays, cornices, and other ornamentation have been applied to the truncated building. The original ground-floor facade that extended under the new platform belays the building's original width. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

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A customer places his farecard in the turnstile on the first day the temporary Armitage station house was in service, looking south on July 23, 2007. The station house, while small and simple, provides all of the necessary functions -- fare control, farecard vending machines, Customer Assistant booth -- while the historic station is refurbished and expanded. (Photo by Tony Coppoletta)

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The Armitage station house is seen under renovation, looking northeast on August 12, 2007. Whole the historic station house and station area on the north side of Armitage Avenue were under construction they were enclosed by high chainlink fencing covered with canvas to protect the work within and pedestrians outside. The sidewalk was diverted into the street, protected by a row of jersey barriers. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The entranceway and interior of the historic Armitage station house are seen looking north on August 12, 2007 while under renovation. The headhouse's interior was gutted down to the building's structural shell, allowing all new electric, plumbing, and other systems to be installed. The interior was then rebuilt, largely following the original designs. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The interior of the Armitage temporary entrance station house is seen looking east in the unpaid area on August 12, 2007. Like the Hudson temporary entrance at Sedgwick, the temporary facility at Armitage was a simple plywood-covered wood-frame building with very basic amenities. The Customer Assistant booth is the room on the right. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The north ends of the platforms at Armitage are seen under renovation in this view looking north on August 12, 2007. The stairways down to the historic station entrance are blocked, encased in plywood, to allow for their renovation. The historic canopies are intact and awaiting restoration while the elevator towers are being constructed around them. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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Due to the constrained space resulting from the choice not to demolish the adjacent building, the elevator to the southbound platform had to rise within the confines of the existing platform. The steel framework for the tower is seen looking northwest on August 12, 2007, newly installed in the space formerly occupied by the north stair to the platform. The decking has also been removed in this area to allow the refurbishing of the support stringers and installation of new joists. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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By the time of this February 9, 2008 view looking north, the renovation of the north ends of the platforms is well underway. The canopies have been refurbished, with the old paint stripped and a new coat applied and new corrugated metal hipped roofs applied. The structures of the new elevator towers are complete and the new wider stairway to the northbound platform is being installed. Installation of light posts and railings is underway. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The Armitage platforms are seen looking north on March 16, 2008. The new extensions, completed in 2007, are in the foreground, while the sections containing the historic elements are in the background and still under construction. At this point temporary lighting is still in use on the entire length of both platforms, even where the new permanent luminaires have been installed. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The interior of the renovated Armitage station house is seen looking west in the unpaid area on June 9, 2008. The interior is all new but the wood moldings and wainscoting are reproductions of the original designs. The floor was replaced with granite rather than wood, as the original floors were built, for durability. The station house was originally enclosed with a rear wall just beyond the turnstiles, demarcated by the drop in the ceiling height, which was removed to expand the station house. The stainless steel customer assistant booth is a standard design for the renovated Brown Line stations. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The paid area of the renovated station house is seen looking west on June 9, 2008. The paid area represents an expansion of the station house. This area was originally outside, behind the station house. The historic station house's rear wall was originally where the "Out to street and buses" sign hangs over the turnstiles. The rotogates on the far left provides added egress capacity, exiting onto the plaza next to the headhouse. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The rear (north) wall of the paid area features a glass and ceramic tile mural created by local artist Jonathan Gitelson. The piece, entitled Chicago ‘El’ Stories, is comprised of 45 photographs depicting memories of Chicago that have shaped the lives of customers who use the Armitage station, gathered through a series of interviews conducted at the station. Tile grout lines simulate a street map of the surrounding community. The mural is seen here on June 9, 2008. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The temporary Armitage station house is seen looking southeast on June 9, 2008 after being removed from service following the renovated main entrance coming into use. The entrance gates have been locked and the "Stop! No entry" signs have already been placed over the stairs, which will become auxiliary exits. The wood-frame and plywood building was demolished a short time later. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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Armitage station's dual side platforms are seen looking north from the outbound platform on June 6, 2008 as a Kimball-bound Brown Line train departs the station. Although small punchlist items remains to be completed, such as the conversion of the temporary entrance being converted into an auxiliary exit, the platforms are largely complete and the main entrance had been reopened. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The renovated historic Armitage station house, with its Classic Revival styling and Italianate ornamentation, is seen looking east on July 13, 2008. The brick and terra cotta was cleaned and refurbished and new wooden doors, windows and frames following the original designs were installed. The lights, drip pan, and entrance sign overhead are new. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The main entrance to the Armitage station is seen looking northwest on July 13, 2008. On the left is the refurbished historic station house, with its masonry and woodwork either cleaned or replicated. A plaza was installed to the east of the station, providing added egress via rotogates from the paid area, bike parking, and open space around the facility. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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Construction personnel work on the auxiliary exit plaza on the south side of Armitage Avenue, the former location of the temporary entrance, seen looking east on July 13, 2008. The stairs were already in place from use in the temporary entrance. The laborers are completing work on the brick planters, concrete plaza, and over head drip plan and lighting. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

 

Notes:

1. "ENDS STRIKE ON NEW "L"." Chicago Daily Tribune, 8 May 1900: 1.
2. "BOYS MEDDLE WITH “L” TRACK." Chicago Daily Tribune, 7 June 1900: 12.
3
. Bach and Wolfson, A Guide to Chicago's Train Stations: 222.