Green Line's Cermak Stop May be Rebuilt


By Robert C. Herguth

Date of Publication: January 29, 2002
Source: Chicago Sun-Times


The Green Line's Cermak L station was torn down in 1978, a year after being shuttered so the cash-strapped CTA could save money.

With the financial picture much rosier, and new houses booming in Chinatown and the South Loop, the agency may re-establish the stop.

"Relocating a station there is one of many improvements we're evaluating throughout the system," spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney said. "We don't have a cost to reopen one . . . We're in the midst of a feasibility study with the city."

The stretch between 35th Street and Roosevelt on the Green Line is one of the longest without an L stop, said CTA President Frank Kruesi, saying a Cermak stop would fall in the middle and also serve McCormick Place several blocks to the east.

"The point is it's a long stretch with a large population, and there used to be a station there," he said.

When it opened in 1892, the stop was called the 22nd Street station and served the Chicago & South Side Rapid Transit Railroad, the city's first elevated railway, a CTA spokesman said.

The street later was named for Mayor Anton Cermak, and so went the name of the station, which closed in 1977.

The Red Line has a Cermak station several blocks west of the Green Line. That proximity, and the desire to save money, led to the closing of the Green Line Cermak station, Gaffney said.

Now the immediate area includes a White Castle, a currency exchange, public housing and vacant lots. New town houses have sprouted nearby.

While walking down Cermak one recent afternoon, April Marcus said she might ride the L more if the station was built.

"I don't ever ride the L; I'm scared of it," said the 27-year-old Marcus, a Near South Side resident who has a fear of heights. "But I probably would ride it . . . if there was an L station down here. There ain't no stop, it goes all the way downtown."

Other L stations have been closed and reopened. The Blue Line's Milwaukee and Grand station closed in 1992 but reopened in 1999 amid a housing boom.

When a Cermak stop might return isn't clear, officials said. The project is not included in the CTA's five-year capital plan.