This aerial view taken in 1970, the year the station opened, shows the Logan Square station's main entrance adjacent to the square, at Milwaukee and Kedzie. The two rectilinear, International Modern style enclosures are the two Kedzie entrances to the station: On the left, the smaller kiosk contains an escalator and stairs to the mezzanine. On the right, another stairs and escalator ascend into a plaza surrounded by a bus terminal. For a larger view, click here. (Photo from the Chicago Transit Authority Collection)

Logan Square

(3200W/2600N) Kedzie

(2800N/3400W) Diversey

Kedzie Avenue and Logan Boulevard, Logan Square

Service Notes:

Blue Line: O'Hare (Milwaukee-Kimball Subway)

Accessible Station

Owl Service

Quick Facts:

Address:

2620 N. Kedzie Avenue (Kedzie entrance)

2610 N. Milwaukee Avenue (Spaulding/Milwaukee entrance)

Established: February 1, 1970
Original Line: West-Northwest Route, Milwaukee branch
(Milwaukee-Kimball Subway)
Previous Names: none

Skip-Stop Type:

Station

Rebuilt: 2000-01
(elevator added, minor renovations)
Status: In Use

History:

The original Logan Square station served as the terminal of the Northwest branch of the Metropolitan Elevated (and successor Logan Square branch of the CRT and CTA ) for 90 years, opening on May 25, 1895. The complex included a double-track, two platform station, a car inspection shop, and a storage yard. In the late 1960s, it was decided the Logan Square branch was to be extended passed its namesake terminal for the first time, necessitating the removal of the old elevated station, which closed concurrently with the new extension opening on February 1, 1970.

For additional information and photos of the earlier Logan Square elevated station (1895-1970), click here.

The extension of the Milwaukee Line of the West-Northwest Route (the forerunner of today's Blue Line) reached its new terminal at Jefferson Park via a new subway and the median of the Kennedy Expressway. As a result, the tracks had to descend into a new subway under Milwaukee and Kimball avenues before the old Logan Square terminal, requiring the construction of a new subterranean station to replace the elevated terminal. The new station, located just to the northeast of the old terminal, is actually immediately to the north of the station's namesake public square.

The Kedzie mezzanine, seen on September 13, 2001, was renovated in the summer of that year, with new flooring, CA booth, and other improvements. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

The design of station was carried out by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who developed a modern, functional form. Skidmore took the Kennedy-Dan Ryan ("KDR") project in a unique direction, designing all aspects of the new lines to harmonize in both shapes and materials. All windbreaks, dividers, and ticket booths were stainless steel. The shape of everything, from the buildings to the agents' booths, to the trashcans, flowed together into a seamless design philosophy, which perfectly captured the boxy, purely functional International Modern style for which Skidmore is so well known.

The fare controls are at a mezzanine level, with entrances from multiple sides of the streets above. The station has two exits, one at Spaulding/Milwaukee (2732N), serving Diversey (2800N/3400W), the other at Kedzie/Milwaukee (3200W/2600N), at Logan Square. The mezzanines are not enclosed, as in the State and Dearborn subways, but are cantilevered over the platforms, and thus functioned more as an open deck overlooking the track level.

The island platform is spacious, with a column-free platform obtained by using a box-girder construction. The walls of the station mezzanines and platform areas were off-white brick (later discolored to a tan hue), with white concrete coffered ceilings and fluorescent lights recessed in the coffers. Further down the platform from the mezzanines, the ceilings become arched concrete.

An off-street bus terminal is located at the Kedzie entrance on the northeast corner of Milwaukee and Kedzie, with one of the stair/escalator accessways from the station mezzanine leading directly to the bus terminal. The other stairway leads to the west side of Milwaukee Avenue.

 

Accessibility and Other Upgrades

In 2000, the CTA began construction on a number of improvements to the Logan Square subway station. These additions included two new elevators (one from the street to the Kedzie mezzanine and one from the Kedzie mezzanine to the platform), additional mezzanine floor space, and a relocated customer assistant kiosk and platform-to-mezzanine stairway. By March 2001, the sidewalk at street level had been modified to accept the new elevator. The steel work for the mezzanine extension over the platform for the new stairway and elevator was underway and nearly complete by the middle of the month. Also underway were the construction of new CTA personnel restrooms, maintenance rooms and customer assistant kiosk.

The new steel mezzanine structure, staircase, and elevator space at the Kedzie end of the Logan Square platform, looking southeast on March 9, 2001. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

In April, the new janitor's closet and revenue room, as well as pouring of a new sidewalk at street level was completed, as was the extension of the Kedzie mezzanine floor over the platform. Work on the elevator tube framing and new customer assistant kiosks then progressed, with construction of the new interior and exterior elevators, the kiosks, and maintenance/electrical rooms all scheduled to be substantially completed in May. By July, the elevator shafts and housing on both lifts had been completed and the sidewalk around the elevator at street level had been re-poured. The new CA kiosk and flooring in the mezzanine area was finished as well. Completion of outside and inside elevators was underway. The completion CTA employee restrooms, maintenance rooms and mechanical room was also in progress. The new stairs between the platform and mezzanine were complete. Final work on the elevators, mezzanine and some platform signage, auxiliary rooms, and other features was completed in late Summer 2001.

New station name signs, following the Green Line Graphic Standard, were installed at four Blue Line stations in late 2002/early 2003, including Logan Square. The fabrication and installation of these signs was actually the continuation of the renovation work that was completed here in 2000-01. New station name signs were installed around February 2003 and replaced the original signs on the brick walls outside the tracks, opposite the island platform. Here, as at a few other stations, the tabs (whose color is used to denote the lines serving that platform) have the names and directions of the various exits in them. The tabs at Logan Square are an improvement of sorts, in that the streets listed in the tabs are actually more accurate than in the KDR signs they replaced: in the original signs, the exits were listed as "Kedzie" and "Diversey", though Diversey is actually a block north of the north exit; the new signs list the exits as "Kedzie" and "Spaulding" (where the north exit actually deposits passengers). In this sign installation, the new Green Line Graphic Standard signs were initially only placed outside the tracks, facing the platform, but not on or over the platform. At the same time, the symbol signs that were posted on the outside walls were removed. Later, station name signs were also placed down the center of the platform, hung overhead on newly-installed brackets suspended from the arched ceiling.

 

Logan Square Gets 'Renewed'

On September 20, 2011, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool announced a new CTA station renewal initiative designed to provide a facelift to 100 CTA rail stations over the following 12 months. The first station to receive a renewal was the Logan Square Blue Line station, where the Mayor, Alderman Colon and Claypool made the announcement.

The initiative, performed by work crews called the 'Renew Crew' comprised of different trade workers, focuses on providing repairs in a more efficient way, creating a cleaner, brighter and more appealing station that improves the customer travel experience. Different stations will receive different scopes of work depending on their needs and the available resources, but generally will fall into two categories: basic renewals and expanded renewals. Stations receiving a basic renewal will see more general maintenance-type activities, such as cleaning and power-washing; paint touch-ups; minor repairs to concrete, masonry, metalwork, or woodwork; signage replacement; cleaning or re-lamping of light fixtures; and cleaning and repair of drains and gutters.

Stations receiving an expanded renewal may see a variety of additional activities, depending on the needs of the station. Logan Square was one example of an expanded scope, which included extensive cleaning of the brick tunnel walls and ceiling, water management to prevent and mitigate leaks behind the tunnel walls and ceiling, installation of additional light fixtures and directional line diagram signs on the subway platform tunnel walls, refurbishment of the escalators at both the Kedzie main entrance and the Spaulding auxiliary entrance escalator, and the upgrading of 19 existing security cameras with digital high definition cameras.

 

Your New Blue: Station Improvements

On December 5, 2013, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn announced a comprehensive improvement plan for the Blue Line O'Hare Branch (including the northern portion of the Dearborn Subway), an overhaul that will provide faster travel times and updated stations while creating more than 1,300 jobs.

The $492 million plan, called Your New Blue, includes several track and station improvement projects along a 12.5-mile stretch of the Blue Line between the Grand and Cumberland stations, as well as upgrades to the signal system between the Jefferson Park and O'Hare stations. The overall Your New Blue program, beginning construction in 2014 and planned to last four years, is a package of several discrete projects ranging from station improvements to track renewal, signal replacement, traction power upgrades, and subway tunnel water mitigation efforts.

Logan Square is one of the stations planned to receive improvements under the program. The scope of these improvements includes upgrading of of Kedzie Avenue entrance and its surrounding plaza on the south side of Milwaukee Avenue, upgrading of the auxiliary entrances at Spaulding, upgrades to the station electrical (power and lighting) systems, and refurbishing of the station's two elevators. The City and CTA also intend to pursue Transit-oriented development (TOD) opportunities around the statione.1

The scope, design, and timeline for the station improvements under Your New Blue are still being finalized.

The island platform of the Logan Square subway station on September 27, 2011, looking north from the Kedzie fare control mezzanine following improvements as part of the CTA's Station Renewal Program. The tunnel walls were cleaned, lighting improved, and new directional signs installed to improve the customer experience. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)


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The island platform of the Logan Square subway station on September 13, 2001, looking north from the Kedzie fare control mezzanine. The 1970-built station offers a column-free platform and an arched ceiling, giving it a roomier feel than the State and Dearborn subways. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The middle portion of the Logan Square subway platform forsakes the tall, coffered roof of the mezzanine ends for a lower, arched ceiling. Still, the column-free platform provides an open atmosphere, seen here looking north on September 13, 2001. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The Kedzie entrance to the Logan Square subway station on the east side of Milwaukee Avenue is in a plaza surrounded by a bus terminal, with the canopy extending from the subway entrance over the bus bays to protect waiting transferrers. Seen looking south on September 13, 2001, the new elevator to the station installed earlier that year can be seen behind the stairs and escalator, making the station ADA accessible. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The entrance kiosk on the west side of Milwaukee Avenue at Kedzie, seen looking north on September 13, 2001, houses a set of stairs and an escalator to the Kedzie mezzanine. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The Spaulding mezzanine at Logan Square, except for modern Cubic farecard turnstiles and some new signage, is still largely as it was built in 1970, with the original agent's booth still in evidence looking south on September 13, 2001. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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2200-series car 2318 -- specially designed to match aesthetically with the Kennedy and Dan Ryan lines it was bought to serve -- pulls away from the rectilinear Logan Square subway station on it was to O'Hare, looking northwest on October 23, 2003. The column-free platform remains as spacious as it was when built in 1970, but the terrazzo floors have proved difficult to patch in a visually seamless way. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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As an inbound Blue Line train pulls out of the station on October 23, 2003, new station name signs placed down the center of the platform, hung overhead on newly-installed brackets suspended from the arched ceiling, are visible over the custom-designed, original-to-the-station bench. These overhead signs are all-new; similar signs also replaced the original signs on the brick walls outside the tracks, opposite the island platform. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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As part of the improvements CTA made to Logan Square as part of its Station Renewal Program in mid-2011, the brick tunnel walls opposite the boarding platform were extensively cleaned and new, additional lighting installed to increase illumination. New directional line diagram signs were installed on each side at the north and south ends of the 8-car boarding area. The horizontal tunnel-wall variant of the signs, previously only installed at CDOT-renovated stations Downtown, were being expanded to other subway stations around the system. The improvements are seen here on September 27, 2011. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The modern, International style subway entrance kiosk to the Spaulding auxiliary entrance on the west side of Milwaukee Avenue is seen looking north on September 27, 2011. This kiosk houses a stairway and escalator, while its mate across Milwaukee Avenue houses only a stairway. The kiosk and its mate were improved as part of CTA's Station Renewal Program, with repair to the structure, replacement of vandalized glass, a new paint job, new gutters and downspouts, and new signs. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
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The Spaulding auxiliary entrance mezzanine at Logan Square station is seen looking northeast in the unpaid area on September 27, 2011. As part of the CTA's Station Renewal Program, the mezzanine was improved with a thorough cleaning, improved lighting, and new signs and information panel including a new neighborhood map. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Notes:

1. "Your New Blue." CTA website, accessed January 11, 2014.