The entrance to the renovated 47th station is seen looking north on December 24, 2006. Improvements to the entrance include refurbishment of the structure, new paint, a new "storefront" enclosing the entranceway with doors and windows (barely visible in the background behind the "Enter here for trains" sign), and identification signage. The new mid-block canopy between the entrance and the south side of 47th Street to protect waiting bus passengers is still under construction at the time of the photo. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

47th (4700S/200W)
47th Street and Dan Ryan Expressway, Fuller Park

Service Notes:

Red Line: Dan Ryan

Accessible Station

Owl Service

Quick Facts:

Address: 220 W. 47th Street
Established: September 28, 1969
Original Line: West-South Route, Dan Ryan branch
Previous Names: none

Skip-Stop Type:


Rebuilt: 2005-06
(renovation), 2013 (refurbished)
Status: In Use


The Skidmore-designed 47th station entrance is seen as it was originally built, looking north at the fare controls in the 1970s. Note how everything is harmoniously rectilinear in design, thanks to Skidmore's holistic approach. For a larger view, click here. (CTA photo)

The design of 47th and the other eight stations of the Dan Ryan line were carried out by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill under the direction of Myron Goldsmith, who developed a modern, functional form in the late International style popular at the time. Improved visibility and security, ease of cleaning and more comfortable working conditions for CTA employee were design goals. 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 supports of the transparent platform canopies and the structures of the station enclosures are white-painted steel frames, and the enclosures themselves are glass. The formal and functional criteria were expressed in several ways: open, uncluttered, brightly lit interior spaces; durability, safety, maximum efficiency of movement; lightness and purity of structure. The shape of everything, from the buildings to the agents' booths, to the trashcans, followed together into a seamless design philosophy, which perfectly captured the boxy, purely functional International Modern style for which Skidmore is so well known.

The commemorative brochure published for the event describes the stations this way:

"Nine stations serve the Dan Ryan Line... Wide visibility and a high level of illumination are characteristic features in all areas. Fare collection equipment and turnstiles are stainless steel and... escalators supplement stairs for movement between station levels. Stations in the expressway medians are constructed of steel and glass providing maximum visibility from adjacent streets and highways. The boarding platforms are long enough to accommodate 8-car trains... Steel framed canopies of translucent plastic [extend] beyond the center line of the tracks. Self-service infrared radiant heaters are located at windbreaks on the platforms."

In terms of interior arrangement and design for the passenger, Skidmore generally followed the edict of modernist pioneer Mies van der Rohe that ‚ "less is more." Except for at a few locations (most notably 95th Street terminal), there were no concessions provided for passengers. Air conditioning and a compact washroom with a toilet were provided in the agents' booths. Restrooms were for employees only, though payphones were provided. Stainless steel turnstiles, now an industry standard, were first used here. The amenities and traffic circulation fit with the architectural design of the station: efficient but purely functional. Stations were designed with wide walkways and no blind corners, with turnstiles and agents booths arranged for maximum queuing and circulation effectiveness.

The stations' design even formed a harmony with the 150 rapid transit cars that were ordered to serve the new Kennedy and Dan Ryan lines, which used the same design philosophies and basic shapes, and an entirely new system of signage with a redesigned typeface and clean graphic style (still used by CTA today, in a modified form), making a fully integrated design throughout the entire project.

Stations were spaced at between half-mile and one-mile intervals, reflecting an increasing spacing of stations prominent in the postwar period, with bus lines acting as feeders to the rapid transit line. The Dan Ryan and Kennedy stations were also set up to allow Pay On Train operation, though without all of the complicated gates and rearrangement built into the Congress stations. The translucent skin of the headhouse exteriors made this type of operation more safe than before, though not necessarily making it more aesthetically desirable for the customer. The result was a utilitarian white steel and glass station that is functional but not particularly ornate.


Dan Ryan Red Line Rehabilitation Project

With few major improvements (though with a lot of patching) over its thirty year life, by the early 21st century the Dan Ryan Line was in need of a major overhaul. On April 3, 2003, the Chicago Transit Board approved a $4.5 million contract to renovate the 69th and 95/Dan Ryan bus bridges as well as the bus turnaround at 95th Street, signaling the beginning of the rehabilitation of the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line. The Dan Ryan renovation project entailed upgrading the infrastructure of the line, including improving power reliability and delivery of that power, and providing station improvements to the seven stations on the branch north of the terminal.

On October 7, 2003, the Chicago Transit Board approved a $192.5 million contract to rehabilitate the Dan Ryan branch, with Kiewit/Reyes, AJV (A Joint Venture) awarded the construction contract as part of a competitive bid process. The total cost of the Dan Ryan rehabilitation program was to be $282.6 million.

The project was executed in three phases. During the first phase of the project, which extended from March 2004 to May 2005, CTA replaced crossover track, installed a temporary signal system to support the track work and began third rail replacement from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th. As part of Phase II, which ran through early 2006, the CTA constructed two new substations and upgraded two existing substations, installed a permanent signal system and replaced third rail.

Renovation of 47th station is progressing, as seen looking southwest on March 27, 2006. With all of the plexiglas canopy "bubbles" removed, the steel canopy structure has been refurbished and primed and the new concrete platform deck poured. The new stainless steel windbreaks are in various stages of installation: the one nearest is about half completed, while the farther one has only the frame assembled. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Phase III improvements, which began at the end of June 2005, consisted primarily of station renovations. Work at the seven stations located between Sox-35th and 87th included refurbishing platform canopies, architectural components, escalators, the existing station house, and new platform floor finishes, enhanced lighting, new customer assistant kiosks and improved signs. Eight escalators along the branch were replaced and new elevators were installed at 47th and 69th, making those stations accessible to customers with disabilities. There were also enhancements to improve bus connections, such as curb cuts, canopies over station entrances and improved lighting on the approach to each station.

47th station remained open throughout the renovation project. Much of the work was done under single track operations during midday, owl, and other off-peak hours to allow contractors Kiewit/Reyes, Aldridge Electric, and others to undertake renovation work. On many days, it was also common for half of the platform at a time to be taken out of service at certain stations during owl hours to provide unobstructed access to the contractors. During some periods, trains in excess of four cars in length were prohibited from stopping at certain stations also to provide contractor access.

During Autumn 2005, the original terrazzo platform flooring was removed from the remaining station platform. 47th's platform was replaced in mid-September. Bases and supports for new steel windbreaks were set in the new platform flooring; the framework for the new enclosures installed by the end of the year. In the meantime, temporary wooden windbreaks were installed to provide some shielding from the winter winds.

In this August 12, 2006 view at 47th as a southbound Red Line train enters the station, the canopy has been painted and installation of brackets and backer plates for new signage has been initiated. The new canopy roofing was installed shortly after. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Jamaal Thomas)

By the end of 2005, the original agents' booth had been removed and the fare controls had been moved to allow work to continue in the fare control area. By the end of December 2005 all of the canopy roofing "bubbles" had been removed, leaving the canopy structural framework but little actual protection except for a small area on the platform where a tarpaulin was stretched over a small portion of the canopy to provide a moderate level of protection from inclement weather. Work was undertaken at this time to refurbish the canopy structure.

Following the completion of a platform extension, all of the northbound berth markers were relocated 25 feet further north effective in mid-January 2006 and the 8-car southbound marker was moved several feet north as well. A month later, all of 47th's southbound berth markers were further moved about 20 feet north to vacate part of the platform near the station house for the installation of a new elevator. By the end of February 2006, the platform extension at 47th was completed and in service.

Work continued at 47th throughout Spring and Summer 2006. By August 2006, new skylight canopy domes were being installed at all stations from Sox-35th to 87th. The station's canopy coverings were installed by the end of summer. Progress was made on the installation of new vertical access elements during summer. Construction of the new elevators at 47th and 69th stations continued through the end of summer.

By mid-November 2006, installation of new station platform canopy skylight "bubbles" was substantially complete at all stations in the project zone, from Sox-35th to 87th, inclusive. Installation of new escalators was continuing at 47th station. Work also continued on the new elevators at 47th and 69th and on renovating the existing elevator at 79th.

During November, work also continued on the installation of platform amenities at all stations, painting station house exteriors and platforms, installation of new light fixtures on platforms, installation of new lighting and ceilings in station houses, and installation of new signage.

It's Christmas time at 47th, as the bow and lights in the new Customer Assistant booth at 47th demonstrate, looking north in the refurbished fare control area on December 24, 2006. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Effective December 12, 2006, 47th station's elevator elevator was put in service, making the station ADA-compliant and accessible for customers. The new escalators at 47th station entered service on Thursday, December 28, 2006.

By the end of 2006, the renovation of 47th station was substantially complete with only punchlist work remaining. The finished station included the improvements listed above and, much like the original Kennedy-Dan Ryan project design by Skidmore, introduced several elements now standard at Dan Ryan stations (minus 95th/Dan Ryan and Cermak-Chinatown, which were not part of the project) including a new type of Customer Assistant booth (now also used in the renovated Brown Line stations), windbreak, and combination bench/sandbox. The station house and platform canopy received red bands as part of its new paint scheme, providing some color to the facility's exterior as well as line identification.

47th station also received a new white-painted steel mid-block canopy extending across the 47th Street expressway bridge to protect passengers transferring between the "L" station and eastbound #47 47th buses. The canopy, a modern design somewhat reminiscent of a scaled-down version of the crosswalk covering installed at Sox-35th in 2002-03, includes 80 art glass panels in its roofing. The red-tinted images are of the Stock Yards "L" line, circa 1940, which ran a few blocks north of the 47th/Dan Ryan station (although the Stock Yard Line was gone more than a decade before the Dan Ryan Line opened).

Also included as part of the graphics package were station name signs mounted outside the tracks on the expressway sidewall, facing the platform. These types of "outside" station name signs were previous seen primarily at ADA-accessible stations, although they were installed at all renovated Dan Ryan stations including those without elevators. The frames on which these signs were mounted included a feature unseen before: a stainless steel panel between the posts on the back of which was mounted an extruded resin CTA logo facing the expressway. This was one of several ways the new (as of 2004) CTA logo was incorporated into the renovated Dan Ryan stations. The logo was also mounted along the cornice of all the station houses (typically at the rear end of the side elevation with with half of the shield extending above the roofline) and was applied as a hanging station "identifier" underneath the eyebrow canopy as the stations that received these coverings.


Other Developments

A new advertising and information display is seen looking south at 47th station on December 24, 2008. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

During December 2008, the CTA’s first rail station digital advertising displays were installed at 47th station. A press conference unveiling the screens, attended by Mayor Richard M. Daley, CTA President Ron Huberman, and other officials, was held at the station on January 8, 2009.

The 47th Red Line station was the first CTA station to be equipped with the digital advertising displays, which also feature next train arrival and other service information. The screens are projected to generate more than $100 million in revenue over the next 10 years.

During January and February 2009, the CTA tested the eight displays installed at the station for durability, placement and customer feedback before moving forward with its gradual installation at the remaining 143 rail stations. During the pilot test, the CTA tested the durability of the displays against graffiti, etching and various weather conditions; the ability for customers to clearly view information on display in various lighting conditions; and optimum placement of the displays.

Under the terms of the agreement, Titan Outdoor will be responsible for the design, purchase, installation, maintenance and repair of more than 1,500 digital displays installed on 100 buses and at all 144 rail stations. There is no upfront cost to the CTA.

Upon completion of installation, the digital displays at rail stations and on buses will be fully integrated with CTA’s Control Center and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). During an emergency, CTA will be able to override advertisements and post emergency information or real-time service updates.


Red Line South Reconstruction Project

In 2013, the CTA launched the Red Line South Reconstruction Project, a track renewal project to rebuild the Dan Ryan branch tracks from the bottom up, excavating down to the bottom of the trackbed to rebuild the underground drainage system then installing new ballast, ties, and tracks.

In order to perform the work more quickly and cost-effectively, the CTA closed the Dan Ryan branch for five months while work was performed. During that time, there was no 'L' service on the Dan Ryan branch south of Roosevelt station. Red Line trains were rerouted via the old 13th Street Incline from the State Street Subway to the South Side Elevated, where they operated to Ashland/63rd via the South Side Elevated tracks in a pattern reminiscent of the old Howard-Englewood "A" trains of the North-South Route days. Red Line service to Ashland/63rd began on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Following the five-month track reconstruction and renovation work on the Dan Ryan, Red Line service to 95th resumed at 4am, Sunday, October 20, 2013.

The five-month construction option saved $75 million over an option to perform work on weekends only. CTA invested that $75 million savings into station upgrades along the south Red Line, including lighting improvements, painting, new roofs and canopies at some stations, electrical substation work, and other improvements. In addition, elevators were added to the 87th, 63rd, and Garfield stations, making the whole Dan Ryan branch, and indeed all "L" stations on the whole South Side, accessible.


This view looking north on the 47th station platform on March 7, 2007 shows several elements from the station's renovation, including new concrete flooring, refurbished canopy structure and new skylight "bubbles", new signage, and new Dan Ryan-standard stainless steel seating. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

47th Station (1969-2003) | Dan Ryan Renovation (2004-present)

47th Station (1969-2003)

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The 47th Street station in the median of the Dan Ryan Expressway is seen looking south on July 28, 2001. It's design is typical of most Dan Ryan Line stations. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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A 47th Street station sign. This A station sign is blue (instead of the standard "A station" red) because it was made after the CTA abandoned the color-coding of signage and blue was adopted for a short period as the default sign color. (Sign from the collection of Graham Garfield)

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Budd-built car 2937 is bringing up the rear of a northbound Red Line train stopping at 47th station on the Dan Ryan branch on September 17, 2002. The curvature of he station platform, evident in this view looking north, requires the use of CCTV monitors for proper berthing and sidedoor operation in the era of one-person train operation (OPTO). (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Dan Ryan Renovation (2004-present)

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On the evening of March 27, 2006, a view looking north up the 47th platform shows its renovation progress. The canopy structural refurbishment is nearly complete, but temporary lights and signs still hang from it. The new concrete platform is in place, but the blue tactile edging has not yet been installed. Yellow spray-paint has been used to delineate the "safety zone" along the platform edge. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Renovation of the 47th station entrance is underway on March 27, 2006, although much work is still yet to be done. Work on new fare control and customer assistant equipment is underway behind the plywood enclosure, while the exposed ceiling structure and bare bulb lights belay the "in progress" state of the entrance corridor. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Several elements of the renovated 47th station are in place in this August 12, 2006 photo looking north on the island platform, including the new concrete flooring, new stainless steel windbreaks, and refurbished canopy. Signage was beginning to be installed. Elements still to be added include canopy roofing and tactile edging. (Photo by Jamaal Thomas)

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Similar to the view above, a northbound Red Line train led by cat 2839 enters 47th station on August 12, 2006. Note that the Dan Ryan Expressway is under renovation at the same time as the "L" line. (Photo by Jamaal Thomas)

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Car 2747 brings up the rear of a Red Line train at 47th station on the Dan Ryan Line, looking north on August 12, 2006. The train has "Not in Service" signs because a "linecut" is in place on this weekend, with trains running between 95th and 47th and between Cermak-Chinatown and Howard, with a bus shuttle bridging the gap, to allow renovation work at Sox-35th station. (Photo by Jamaal Thomas)

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A Red Line train led by car 2839 pulls into 47th/Ryan station on August 12, 2006. Already changed to show "Not in Service" signs, the train will unload when it pulls into the station and transfer its passengers o shuttle buses to get to Sox-35th station or to Cermak-Chinatown to continue north on the Red Line due to a "linecut" that has been put into effect that weekend for renovation work. (Photo by Jamaal Thomas)

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Contractors continue to work on the 47th station interior, seen looking north in the paid area on November 29, 2006, including completion of the elevator and security cameras and monitors. The elevator was activated about two weeks later. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Escalator work was also still underway on November 29, 2006, as seen in this view looking north in the 47th station house. The new escalator wasn't brought into service until the end of December 2006. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The mid-block canopy at 47th is still under construction in this December 24, 2006 view. The mid-block canopy, connecting the eastbound bus stop with the station entrance and westbound stop, where a Nova-built bus servicing the #47 47th route is stopped in this view, will help encourage intermodal riding -- or, as early, circa-1950s CTA promotions advocated, being a "combination rider". (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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By March 7, 2007, the roof structure of the mid-block canopy was in place and the art glass in the ceiling had been installed. The canopy still required painting and some other finishing elements. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The art glass panels at 47th station are located in the roof of the mid-block canopy over 47th Street in front of the station entrance. The red tinted image is of the Stock Yards "L" line, circa 1940, running over the livestock pens of the yard, which were located near the future location of the 47th/Dan Ryan station. The glass is seen looking up on March 7, 2007. (Photo by Graham Garfield)