The Rosemont platform, looking east in August 1999. The name signs are new, not only conforming to the new colors and specifications, but also including roses -- the symbol of the Village of Rosemont -- on the line color panels. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Rosemont (5800N/10500W)
River Road and the Kennedy Expressway, Village of Rosemont

Service Notes:

Blue Line: O'Hare

Accessible Station

Park'n'Ride: 736 spaces

Owl Service

Quick Facts:

Address: 5801 N. River Road
Established: February 27, 1983
Original Line: West-Northwest Route, O'Hare branch
Previous Names: River Road

Skip-Stop Type:

Station (1983-1984)

Station (1984-1995)

Rebuilt: n/a
Status: In Use

History:

Originally called River Road, Rosemont was designed by the firm of Metz, Train and Youngren with the intent to "create a distinctive movement experience for the rider." The post and beam construction is reminiscent of the work of noted architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The platform canopy contains a series of skylights to let in natural light. The platform is actually wedge-shaped and the skylights get closer together as they widen, emphasizing the forced perspective and providing more natural light at the station house end (on the west).

River Road Ring, seen over the courtyard at the center of Rosemont station. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

This was the terminal of the O'Hare branch for a year until the terminal at the airport was completed. Relations between the City of Chicago and the suburbs were tenuous during the Byrne administration... or at other times being downright nasty! She was adamant that the names of the rapid transit stations not "advertise" the other cities, thus when this station opened in 1983, "River Road" took precedence over "Rosemont" in the naming. When the new-style gray-background Current Graphic Standard signage in the 1990s (which finally changed the name to "Rosemont") was installed here, little pictures of roses (the Rosemont city seal) were added to the colored bars (which designate which line the station's on) on the sides of the sign.

As with the other two O'Hare Extension stations that opened in 1983, the station included specially-designed artwork for the facility, an early example of an art component being included in a transit infrastructure project. Rosemont received a wood sculpture by Martin Puryear that elegantly describes the open-air space within the structure of Rosemont station. The River Road Ring, whose name is derived from the station's original name, is a visually seamless arc of polished wood culminating in overlapping ends at the top of its tilted radius, which connects the upper and lower levels of the transportation facility. Wood and other natural materials are also pervasive in Puryear's work, and like the biomorphic forms he creates, reflect his interest in biology, nature and landscape. River Road Ring is a particularly dynamic example of Puryear's talent for integrating the natural and the manmade.

One possible alignment for the extension of the Blue line past O'Hare has the new tracks splitting off the line after this station due to the difficulty of extending the subterranean tunnel further into the O'Hare International Airport complex. This arrangement would make Rosemont a busy transfer station for passengers wishing to board trains going to O'Hare instead of Schaumburg. This, however, is not the preferred option.

In September 2004, Dunkin' Donuts, the coffee and baked goods chain, opened five new concessions in CTA® stations around the "L" system. One such new concession was located at Rosemont station. "This is the first major concerted effort to open a significant number of Dunkin' Donuts stores in CTA® stations," said Mike Lavigne, director of development for Dunkin' Donuts. All new Dunkin' Donuts /CTA® station stores were scheduled to be full-service.

During Autumn 2004 and Spring 2005, several "L" stations got new station name signs. As part of a multi-station program, twelve facilities in all on the Blue, Purple, Red, Orange, and Green lines received new, Current Graphic Standard station name signs, supplementing the new signs that were installed at Rosemont in the 1990s. The new signs were added at additional locations outside the tracks, facing to the platform, for ADA compliance. The new additional station name signs at Rosemont are hung off the overhead beams outside the tracks, over the jersey barriers between the "L" right-of-way and the expressway shoulder. Installation at all stations was complete by the end of November 2004. Fabrication and installation of the signs was performed by contractor Western Remac.

Rosemont is an intermodal facility in many ways. In addition to a large park'n'ride (behind the camera) and kiss'n'ride, a large bus terminal is provided. Thirteen different local and express Pace bus routes serve the station from the northwest and west suburbs and bring customers to the station doorstep in one of the bus bays under the canopy seen here looking southwest on September 27, 2002. The entrance to the station is under the bus terminal canopy on the left (in the (embankment), while the station platform is visible on the far left. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)


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Rosemont station, looking northwest across the Kennedy Expressway, circa 1985. (Photo by Hedrich-Blessing)

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An O'Hare-bound Blue Line train pulls into Rosemont station in March 2002, looking east at the east end of the island platform. (Photo by Robert Mencher)

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The entrance to Rosemont station, seen here looking south on September 27, 2002, is on the north side of the raised expressway/rapid transit embankment, under the bus terminal canopy. The walls of the exterior are concrete with granite panels in the large upper cornice section. The north corner, to the left of the front door, has an information kiosk, but it is not attended. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The interior passageway inside Rosemont station, leading from the entrance to the fare controls and the open atrium in the paid area, consists of a series of ribbed vaults with recessed lighting, seen here looking south on September 27, 2002. Note the original KDR sign over the fare controls (which tended to have rather small lettering), sign reminding passengers to pay the park'n'ride fee, and the Visitor Pass vending machine next the AVMs on the left. Rosemont is one of only a small handful of stations that has an unlimited ride pass machine. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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A northbound Blue Line train led by car 2286 stops at Rosemont in February of 1999. (Photo by Sean Gash)

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A view of River Road Ring from platform level, looking down into the station courtyard. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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A close-up of River Road Ring, looking up from the station courtyard. (Photo courtesy of the City of Chicago Public Art Program)