The Adams-Jackson mezzanine of Jackson/State, looking east circa 1943. There are ticket agents on both sides, serving both staircases. Not much detail is lost in this black and white photo: the columns are black and the floors are light red. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by the Peter Fish Studios)


(230S/1E-1W) Adams-Jackson

(312S/1E-1W) Jackson-Van Buren

Jackson Street and State Street, Loop

Service Notes:

Red Line: State Street Subway

Accessible Station

Transfer Station (Transfer to Loop Elevated by farecard only; transfers to Blue Line subway unrestricted)

Owl Service

Quick Facts:


230 S. State Street (Adams-Jackson mezzanine)

312 S. State Street (Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine)

403 S. State Street (Van Buren-Congress mezzanine, abandoned)

Established: October 17, 1943
Original Line: State Street Subway
Previous Names: none

Skip-Stop Type:


Rebuilt: 1989-91
(Adams-Jackson mezzanine), 1996-2000 (Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine), 2002-03 (platform)
Status: In Use


Construction & Early Years

"Modern design for the personal comfort of patrons" results in these "accident proofed escalators," which "operate either 'up' or 'down' between mezzanine stations and the train platforms. In addition to safety features common to all escalators, new safety provisions are built into the subway escalators." For a larger view, click here. (Photo by the Peter Fish Studios)

Technically, the three or four stations (depending on when you count) that comprise the Loop stations in the State Street subway are actually one long platform. Trains simply stop at different points along the 3,500 foot long platform, which is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's longest subway platform. There are 8 subterranean mezzanine-level stations like the one pictured at the top of the page, one in the middle of every block in the Loop. Each has four entrances from the street and makes up either the north or south end of a stop. (The one pictured at the right, for instance, is the north stairway at Adams-Jackson of the Jackson station.) An informational book published in October 1943 by the Department of Subways and Superhighways entitled Chicago Subways, describe the stations this way:

Utility and beauty are blended in the modern design of mezzanine stations. Fluorescent lighting, used for the first time in any subways, provides unexcelled illumination without shadows and glare. The concrete walls of the mezzanines are covered by structural glass, and floors are red non-slip concrete.

These Art Moderne stations are quite utilitarian, especially when compared to the ornate subway stations constructed in cities like New York, London and Paris, but are good examples of the streamlined architecture of the period. Many stations had underground station entrances to neighboring department stores. Completion of them, however, was delayed by a materials shortage due to World War II. In fact, if the steel escalators and turnstiles hadn't been ordered before the war, they'd have been unobtainable as well.

The Jackson/State subway platform. At the end are the stairs and escalators to the mezzanine-level station. On the left is a 4000-series steel "L" car approaching the station. Hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the picture is an illuminated sign that says "Jackson". These signs used to identify the stops. They've been replaced by simple blue signs on the outside walls of the tubes. Today, these hanging signs are only left at Clark/Division in the State Street Subway. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by the Peter Fish Studios)

Jackson, as a transfer station, has two passageways to the Dearborn Subway one block west. One is at the unpaid level between the Adams-Jackson mezzanines of each subway, while the other is in the paid area and runs between platforms below Jackson Boulevard. The tunnels were built in 1939-1943 as part of the original construction of the State Street and Milwaukee-Dearborn Subways, but not opened until February 25, 1951 when the Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway was finally completed and opened, eight years after the State Street tube was inaugurated. The low-level transfer tunnel was simple in design and execution, befitting the streamlined Art Moderne architecture of the Depression-era subways of Chicago. The floor was smooth red concrete, the same as the station platforms. The ceiling of the majority of the tunnel was smooth arched concrete, while the walls were large, smooth glazed tiles with a light green trim along the top (consistent with Jackson being a "green" station in the subway's scheme of four rotating highlight colors). At each end, where the stairs to the subway platforms were, the ceiling dropped down and became flat due to presence of the trackbed above it. The wall tiles also changed from the large horizontally-rectangular tiles to small vertically-rectangular ones. There were two stairs to each island platform at each end of the transfer tunnel. In the middle of the tunnel, both walls had lettering inlaid in the tile, in the Futura-like typeface used throughout the original subways, directing passengers which direction State and Dearborn streets were.

The Van Buren-Congress mezzanine was closed on January 6, 1984, following the closure of the South Loop's main anchor, Sears, which had a direct entrance from the mezzanine station. At the same time, the south end of the Jackson platform beyond Jackson-Van Buren was closed off with a plywood wall and both the platform area and mezzanine now remain in situ, but abandoned. The street-level entrances to Van Buren-Congress were removed when State Street was remodeled in 1997, replaced with access through grates, which can be seen on the sidewalks between Van Buren Street and Congress Parkway.


Jackson Gets a Facelift

Mayor Byrne announced the Subway Renovation Program on Friday, May 7, 1982, beginning a program that also included her inaugural ride on CTA's new 2600-series rapid transit cars, and a rededication of the 47th Street station.

The Subway Renovation Program, encompassing both the State and Dearborn Street Subways, included the continuous platforms on State between Lake and Congress and on Dearborn between Randolph and Van Buren; the 14 mezzanines along these platforms (Lake/Randolph, Randolph/Washington, Washington/Madison, Madison/ Monroe, Monroe/Adams, Adams/Jackson, Jackson/Van Buren, and Van Buren/Congress on State and Randolph/Washington through Jackson/Van Buren on Dearborn); and the four pedestrian passageways connecting the State and Dearborn Subways here and at Washington at both the mezzanines and lower levels. In addition, mezzanines and platforms would have been renovated at Chicago, Grand, Harrison, and Roosevelt on State and the Lake Transfer and LaSalle/Congress stations on Dearborn.

Above: The remodeled Adams-Jackson mezzanine, looking southeast on May 20, 2004. The designs of the 1980s and early 90s emphasized granite walls and stainless steel soffits, booths, and equipment. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Below: The remodeled Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine, looking east in June 2000. Although the design of the late 1990s/early 2000s renovations kept the stainless steel soffits and accents, the bleak granite walls were replaced with bright tile in Art Deco motifs. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

At all mezzanines, the existing facilities were to be stripped back to their basic structural shell and completely renovated with gray granite panels with stainless steel accents. New fare collection facilities, lighting, flooring, and column coverings were also to be installed. A uniform system of signage and maps would be provided and facilities for the enhancement of passenger security would be incorporated. Amenities such as telephones and concession areas would also have been provided as appropriate. At the platform level, new lighting, flooring, wall, ceiling, and column treatments would have been provided. Stairways and escalators from the platforms to the mezzanines would be replaced or renovated in kind. Signage, maps, benches, and concession facilities would be compatible with those developed for the mezzanine.

Renovation began Tuesday, May 25, 1982 at the fare control level of the Randolph-Washington mezzanine at Washington station on the State Street Subway. Work at the other stations proceeded at a delayed rate or, in some cases, not at all. The Adams-Jackson mezzanine of the Jackson/State station and the Washington-Madison mezzanine in the Dearborn Subway were next. But while Washington-Madison was completely remodeled in 1983-84, Adams-Jackson received only a partial renovation, getting new street-to-mezzanine and mezzanine-to-platform elevators and some new decorative treatments, but little else.

A full renovation and remodeling of Adams-Jackson would wait to be completed until 1991. Although completed nearly 10 years after the announcement of Byrne's program, it apparently followed the same architectural plan (or at least its general style) completed in the 1980s. The design for the Adams-Jackson renovation was performed by Roula Associates Architects, Chtd. in association with Solomon Cordwell & Buenz, Inc. with structural engineering by Chris P. Stefanos Associates, Inc.

Chicago and Roosevelt stations were scheduled to be next, to be completed in 1987, but this didn't come to pass.


Jackson Gets Renovated (Again)

The renovation of the rest of the Jackson station wouldn't begin for another five years and completion wouldn't come for over ten. And by then, the aesthetic design was completely changed.

The Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine closed for reconstruction on May 30, 1996 to be finished in the colorful Deco style of Roosevelt/State. The work, completed by the City of Chicago Department of Public Works, included the installation of elevators and took excessively long. The tones (in this case, red) denote the line and pictures on the tiles (in this case, silhouettes of skyscrapers) denote the station's location (the Loop, here). The station's name and the streets the stairs lead to are printed onto the tile work and lighting has been improved markedly. The fare controls and agents booth are stainless steel. The platform-level stair enclosure walls at Adams-Jackson were also refurbished in the same neo-Art Deco style, completed in the mid-1990s. After four years, work was finally complete at Jackson-Van Buren. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 30, 2000, CTA President Frank Kruesi and Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Judith Rice officially reopened the entrance. The $6.5 million renovation project included a larger mezzanine featuring a mosaic cityscape wall scene, granite flooring and an ADA accessible elevator, making Jackson/State accessible from both mezzanines, a Chicago subway first.

The platform was scheduled to be remodeled as well, with an April 1999 completion date and a price tag of $15 million according to the original construction schedule. This did not come to pass on-schedule, as the Jackson section of the continuous platform wasn't included in the 1996 renovation program. However, the renovation did finally begin in Summer 2002. The 17-month, nearly $17 million project was officially kicked off with a press conference on the platform on Wednesday, July 17, 2002.

Construction workers strip decades of paint off the I-beam columns of the Jackson/State subway platform just south of the closed transfer tunnel, looking north on July 23, 2002. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

The project on the 700-foot platform, which closely follows the platform aesthetics used in the Chicago/State renovation just a year before, included new granite floors, improved signage, brighter energy-efficient lighting, new acoustical panels to absorb more subway noise with directional line maps and views of State Street around the station, decorative information kiosks and benches, wall tiles showing a skyline of downtown buildings, and decorative ceiling tiles with the letter "J" repeated along the edges.

As part of the project, the city also rehabilitated the 465-foot-long underground passenger transfer tunnel between the Jackson stations on the Red Line and the Blue Line subway under Dearborn Street. Effective at 2200 hours on Friday, June 14, 2002, the lower transfer tunnel was temporarily closed for reconstruction.

CDOT construction workers and associated contractors were hard at work on the project since mid-July 2002. Beginning in late July, workers began removing decades worth of paint from the I-beams that line both sides of the island platform. The columns at Jackson were originally painted light green (which was Jackson's signature accent color in the original subway design), but have since been painted white several times. The paint was stripped to remove the old layers and provide a clean base for the new coat that CDOT applied. Workers began this part by removing all of the CTA's signage that was bolted to the columns, but then duct-taped them back onto the columns until such time as workers actually reached that column. That situation was short-lived, however, as duct-tape clearly could not safely hold the weight of a heavy steel/porcelain-enamel sign. Whatever signs weren't stolen were quickly removed by CDOT at the request of the transit authority for safety reasons. The workers began stripping the columns at the south end of the platform south of the Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine and worked their way north. By mid-August, all of the columns had been stripped to a point about half way between the Adams-Jackson and Monroe-Adams mezzanines between Jackson and Monroe stations.

Next, the crews began removing the blue acoustical panels that lined the tunnel walls of the subway station. This included the soundproofing panels, station name signs, and advertising panels. Once the panels were removed, they were stacked in rows along the unused portion of the continuous platform between the Jackson-Van Buren and Van Buren-Congress mezzanines. Crews worked for nearly a month to remove all the acoustical panels from both tunnel walls from north of the Adams-Jackson mezzanine to south of Jackson-Van Buren, completing the work around Labor Day. Once the panels were removed, the tunnel walls beneath were patched and the entire tunnel wall and archway was repainted white.

The Jackson transfer tunnel, looking east on February 3, 2003, on its first day reopening after renovation. The new aesthetics are simple, consisting largely of white and gray glazed tile with two "ribbons" on the vault in red and blue. For a larger view, click here. (Photos by Graham Garfield)

Platform work was slowed in Fall 2002 in favor of concentrating on the transfer tunnel. The most daunting element of the project thus far had been the removal of debris generated by demolition of existing clay walls in the tunnel. Crews removed debris through three levels of an underground subway system to the street level, so the challenge had been to move that debris vertically and efficiently. The removal was accomplished using a conveyor belt system that allowed hundreds of containers holding small quantities of debris material to be transferred by laborers from the tunnel level up one story to the Red Line platform level, where it was transported south to the abandoned Van Buren-Congress mezzanine. The containers were then moved up to the mezzanine level of that station and from there to the street level, where the debris was discarded. Unfortunately, CDOT completely gutted the Van Buren-Congress mezzanine -- which was closed in 1984 and remained largely intact and in original, if unmaintained, condition -- as part of this work.

In October 2002, the construction team installed a new ComEd electrical service feed. That required digging a trench across the surface of State Street and installing concrete-encased electrical ductwork. The work had to be performed at night, and all the utilities located under State Street had to be crossed or relocated in order to get the new feed into the station. The walls of the tunnel were completely stripped of all the original tilework and crews worked to install the new wall cladding beginning in November.

The lower-level transfer tunnel between the Red and Blue line subways reopened on Monday, February 3, 2003, on-time and largely (though not 100%) completed. Although the general shape and envelope of the tunnel remained as it was before, none of the original interior fabric (wall tiles, flooring, etc.) remained in the refinished tunnel. At platform-level on the Red Line, the original Art Deco railings around the stairways were replaced with new, stainless steel neo-Deco railings. The stairs are refinished in red granite and the tubular handrails were replaced with small, square stainless steel ones. The walls on the stairs are clad in alternating white and light gray tile bands. In the tunnel itself, the floors are white granite and the walls are also white tile with bands of light gray. The ceiling of the majority of the tunnel is arched and this vault has also been covered with white tiles, small and square in shape. Running along the center of the arched corridor are two "ribbons" of red and blue tile, which weave in and out of each other as they continue along the tunnel. At each end of the tunnel, where the ceilings drop down, the ceiling tiles go from being white to being red or blue, depending on which line's end of the tunnel you're at. The walls at the ends of the tunnel also have a different scheme, with horizontal bands of white, light gray, and either red or blue, symbolizing which line is at that end of the tunnel.


Left: Prototype light fixtures for CDOT's platform renovation near the Adams-Jackson exit, with experimental sign faces, on January 31, 2003. For a larger view, click here.
Right: Prototype light fixtures on the track side of the island platform, looking south near the Adams-Jackson exit on January 31, 2003. For a larger view, click
here. (Photos by Graham Garfield)

The old overhead lights down the center of the arched ceiling were replaced with two rows of light fixtures, inset in the tunnel walls along each side just overhead where the walls begin to curve into the arched vault. These fixtures are each self-contained units, and in an effort to supply even more subconscious wayfinding the interior sides of each fixture casing have a piece of red or blue colored plastic affixed to it. The result is a subtle effect in which if you facing west (toward the Blue Line), the lights have a faint blue tint (at least in part of the fixture) and if you're facing east (toward the Red Line), the tint is red. The tunnel also has A/V signs not only in the bulkheads at each end of the tunnel (as there were when it was closed for remodeling), but periodically along the way, embedded into the tunnel walls on alternating sides. These are alternated with speakers in the walls that play prerecorded or live messages with passenger information.

When the tunnel reopened in February 2003, a few items remained unfinished -- A/V signs and speakers had not yet been installed -- but the work was substantially complete at the time of reopening.

After the transfer tunnel reopened, the platform work resumed at a faster pace. By the time of the tunnel reopening, CDOT contractors had installed a couple of test light fixtures along the soffit where the arches over the platform and southbound tracks meet, as well as over the doorway to the exit stairs and escalator at the Adams-Jackson end of the platform. The new light tray was similar to what was installed at Chicago/State, but was more massive, projected more light, and had space along its side for sign faces to be installed. Three prototype sections were installed: one over the stairway and two along the southbound track. The sign spaces on the troughs all face inward, toward the island platform. The backlit sign faces themselves were changed a few times since the test fixtures were installed -- some with white letters on the black background (the CTA standard) and some vice versa -- indicating that CDOT was still experimenting with what it wanted to use. The sign face in the light fixture over the stairway indicated what exit it is (i.e. "Adams-Jackson/State"), while those parallel to the tracks indicated the station name and which exit is in each direction.

Much of February 2003 was spent prepping the ceiling for its new tile finishes. The ceilings at the 1940s/50s subway stations have long had problems with water leaking through cracks and seams, creating unsightly rust marks and calcium deposits on the arched ceiling. CDOT's solution to this was to install metal panels on the arched ceiling that would act as a barrier between the original concrete finish and the new tile panels. Sealed with epoxy caulk, at best these panels will actually prevent the water from seeping in, and at worst they will simply channel it along the ceiling and down the sides, away from the tile ceiling so that it doesn't leak through and ruin the aesthetics or integrity of the tile panels. To install the metal sheeting, the original fluorescent lights had to be removed, since the panels cover the entire arch of the ceiling. In their place, high-output klieg lights were hung to provide illumination, strung up by metal hangers attached to the ceiling in the seams of the metal panels. By late February, the panels were installed along the entirety of the platform.

Above: CDOT laborers, working on a scaffold, are installing the new tiled ceiling panels on the north side of the elevator at the foot of the stairs to the Adams-Jackson mezzanine on March 10, 2003. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Below: This view of the center archway running over the center of the island platform just south of the Adams-Jackson elevator on May 12, 2003 shows the pattern of the new tile panels being installed in the rehab. It also shows an error made by the manufacturer of the panels: One of the "J"s is backwards!!! For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Shortly after the installation of the metal sheeting was complete, workers began installing the new tile ceiling panels. The tile pattern on the arched ceiling is made up of thousands of small square colored tiles, but rather than painstakingly affix each individual tile to the ceiling one by one, the tiles were actually pre-assembled in the finished pattern on large curved panels, which were then lifted into place and held up on metal tracks. Assembled in the right order, the panels create the tile pattern design. The tilework in the central archway, running the length of the continuous platform, has a simple white background (ideal for reflecting light and increasing illumination) with red squares interspersed at regular intervals, spaced evenly at six points across the width of the arch and each panel having two rows (combining with the other panels to make six rows running up and down the Jackson platform). At the bottom of each side of the arch, right above what would be the tops of the light troughs (once they were all installed), are two rows of decorative patterning. Each identical stripe, five tiles wide, consists of solid rows of yellow tiles on the top, middle, and bottom. At regular intervals (two per panel, separated by two to three white tiles) the second and fourth rows are light blue tiles, which form the corner of a square, each of whose center is a single red tile interrupting the middle yellow band. These stripes continue along the length of the tilework, interrupted only by the letter "J" executed in red tile and repeated a regular intervals, each framed by the light blue-tiled square patterns at each corner and breaking through all of the yellow bands except highest of the top course and the lowest of the bottom course on each side of the arch.

In the first week of March, the first of the panels, two on each half of the arch to form one solid section of tilework, were assembled and installed at the Adams-Jackson end of the platform, between the elevator shaft and the stairs/escalator to the mezzanine. The following week, full-scale installation of the panels up and down the length of the platform commenced. The sections were lifted into place and affixed along metal tracks bolted to the arch by construction personnel working on scaffolds.

Around the same time that workers began installing the ceiling panels, work also commenced on laying in the new granite flooring. Identical to the flooring installed at Chicago/State in its 2000-01 rehab, the flooring is an assembly of square red granite tiles with rows of short, darker stripes running perpendicular to the tracks in two rows, one each along the edges of the platforms near the blue tactile edges. The old red concrete flooring was first jack-hammered out and the resulting depressed space was graded. A layer of sand was then poured into the space, which allowed the tile-layers to more precisely level the tiles with maximum give and flexibility. The granite tiles were then laid, set, and affixed in place. This work began at the outer reaches of the station stop, in the narrow gangways between the platforms edges and the mezzanine vertical access enclosures, where there is minimal foot-traffic and it was easy to move the train berthings slightly to keep passengers from alighting into these work areas. Quickly, however, these small areas were completed and work moved into the more heavily-trafficked center areas of the platform. Here, where work had to be completed under service and with minimal interruptions, the entire cycle of removal, grading, and installation was carried out in small square sections roped off with yellow plastic warning tape. Progress up and down the platform was simply made by moving the "square of work" from place to place, although more than one spot was often worked on at one time.

Several other small undertakings were also been completed in the Jackson project during the spring of 2003. The security booth on the north half of the platform, between the Adams-Jackson elevator and the north stairs to the transfer tunnel (and which was filled with surveillance monitors but which had been largely unmanned by the beginning of the project), was replaced with a new booth of stainless steel exterior construction and of a design complimenting the renovation scheme. Work on the lower-level transfer tunnel was also largely completed since the February 3 opening with the installation of the ADA-compliant audio/visual LED signs, with one in the bulkhead at each end of the tunnel and several in the side walls along the way. By early April, new brown acoustical panels, like those at Chicago/State, were installed on a small portion of the outer wall on the southbound side at the bottom of the south stairs from the Adams-Jackson mezzanine and along almost the entire length of the outer wall on the northbound side between the north stairs from Adams-Jackson to where the Monroe station's section of the continuous platform begins (in the "no man's land" between the Jackson and Monroe station stops). The panels on the northbound side north of the station remained up for only a few weeks and were later removed. It is not entirely clear why they were installed, especially when so much other heavy work (which could potentially damage them) was still underway, only to be removed again. Perhaps it was a test installation to ascertain some aspect of the panels' design or installation method. The small section of panels on the southbound side near the Adams-Jackson entrance remained for a while longer, however. There were also spaces cut out of the ceiling at the bottom of the center arch on either side of both transfer tunnel stairs. Steel beams were installed, which horizontally cross the width of the center archway above the platform, and which would eventually hold light troughs with backlit panels that indicate the stairs down to the Blue Line.

This view, looking south on May 26, 2003, shows the newly-tiled center archway and the new red granite flooring underneath. Note the row of short, dark red stripes in line with the row of columns on the southbound side of the platform (on the right). For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Effective Friday, May 2, 2003 at 1100 hours, the berth markers at Jackson station were temporarily relocated to allow further phasing of work, with the 8-car mark moved 110 feet north from its former location and the 6-car moved 15 feet north on the southbound side. There were no changes at this time in the 4- or 2-car southbound berthings, nor to any of the northbound markers.

Work continued apace on both the ceiling tile and flooring installations, as well as on many other "hidden" items like electrical, communication, and other systems. Over the long weekend around Memorial Day, CDOT installed temporary symbol signs on the platform columns (rectifying the problem that, because all of the columns have been stripped and the old acoustical panels have been removed, there was no signage identifying the station as Jackson). The temporary signs, however, did not last very long: the were merely paper (not even laminated) mounted on foam core and bolted to the columns. Not only are they not made of vandalism-resistant materials like most CTA signage, they were do not follow CTA signage design guidelines. Although they adhered to the general design of symbol signs -- large first letter of station name ("J") on top, then the full name ("Jackson"), then the terminal destination on the bottom (i.e. "to Howard") -- they did not use the CTA -standard font (Helvetica) and do not adhere to the color scheme of these signs. As can be imagined, several had already been written on and damaged within days of their installation. They were later replaced with more vandalism-resistant signs with CTA -designed graphics.

By the first week of June, all of the ceiling panels in the center archway down the island platform were installed. That same week, the prototype light trays at the north end of the station at the bottom of the stairs up to the Adams-Jackson mezzanine (installed around late January/early February), were removed. Effective Wednesday, June 4, at 1000 hours, the northbound berth markers at Jackson were temporarily relocated to allow further phasing of work, with the 8-car mark moved 110 feet south from its former location and the 6-, 4- and 2-car mark moved 20 feet south of former location. There were no changes at this time in the southbound berthing markers.

Due to additional reconstruction work, tilework improvements, and the installation of more finishes, the lower level transfer tunnel at Jackson, connecting the Blue Line with the Red Line, was temporarily closed over the weekend of June 21-22, 2003. The transfer tunnel closed effective Friday, June 20 at 2100 hours and remained closed until Monday, June 23 at 0500 hours. Work completed during the shutdown included some electrical work and the installation of PA speakers and A/V signs.

Having reopened earlier in the day, the Jackson-Van Buren entrance to the platform had the old flooring and the bulkhead over the doorway (including its backlit sign) removed and new flooring, tilework, and a rolling grille installed, looking south on August 4, 2003. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

In order the do work in the entranceway from the platform to each mezzanine, the stairs and escalator in that vertical accessway had to be closed to traffic. In each case, the work on the "back stairs" (i.e. those not facing the station berthing area, but rather those facing the unused portions of the continuous platform) could be done with little interference to customer traffic. However, when it came time to do the primary entranceway to the mezzanine, ingress had to be transferred to the other mezzanine. Egress from the station could continue from the closed end using the back staircase, which in both mezzanines leads to a rotogate exit into the unpaid area. The first of these closures occurred at Jackson-Van Buren during July 2003. Effective Friday, July 11 at 2200 hours, the north stairway and escalator leading from platform to mezzanine at the Jackson-Van Buren was temporarily closed and barricaded to prevent entry. Exiting was still allowed through the south stairs and access could be had in both directions through the elevator, although paper signage prepared and posted by CDOT was sufficient to eliminate confusion from passengers. During the closure, CDOT and their contractors, H. W. Lochner, F. H. Paschen, and SN Nielsen, removed and installed a new ceiling, walls, granite floor, rolling grille gate and lights tray. Ironically, it also involved the removal of the backlit "Jackson-Van Buren" sign over the stairs that had been installed only a few years before when the mezzanine and stairway/escalator to the platform were renovated, suggesting perhaps that the scheme for the platform had not been finalized at that time or was subsequently changed. The north stairway remained barricaded by a plywood wall through Monday, August 4, when it reopened at 0500 hours. It was originally scheduled to reopen on Monday, July 28, but work delayed the reopening one week. During this last week of work at the foot of the north stairs to Jackson-Van Buren, the northbound berth markers were relocated again to pull trains north, away from the Jackson-Van Buren entrances where work was going on. Effective Monday, July 28, at 1000 hours, the northbound berthing location for 8-car trains moved 115 feet north from its former location and the mark for 6-, 4-, and 2-car trains moved 15 feet north.

During the summer, fabrication work was underway not only in the public areas of the platform but in the nonpublic areas as well. As reported here previously, the abandoned mezzanine at Van Buren-Congress, closed in 1984 (and visited on the 2001 Historic "L" Station Tour!), was gutted and was converted into offices for the Rail Janitors and other personnel (in anticipation of the closing and rehabbing of Lake-Randolph, where these offices were previously located). Some built-out was done in the mezzanine during this time to convert it to office space, although the installation of many finishes waited until the platform rehab wound down, as materials were brought from the street to the platform through this mezzanine. On the abandoned portion of the continuous platform between Jackson-Van Buren and Van Buren-Congress, where CDOT and their contractors have been storing materials and doing some fabrication, an enclosure was built just north of the escalator/stairway to Van Buren-Congress. Anchored on the four corner by existing I-beam columns, it somewhat resembles the escalator/stairway enclosures to the mezzanines, except there's no opening on a fourth side; it's four solid walls with various doorways. Presumably, it's for storage and auxiliary uses. To harmonize with the rest of the renovation, the walls are cladded in the colorful Neo-Deco tilework of the other wall surfaces, with the light blue city skyline and red capitals and bullnose courses. What's unusual is that the tilework was emblazoned with the word "Van Buren". The issue with this is that the lettering in the tilework of the new CDOT subway stations does not reflect the mezzanine exits but the station name itself (i.e. the walls around the stairs at Adams-Jackson doesn't say "Adams", nor do the walls around the stairs to Jackson-Van Buren say "Van Buren", both say "Jackson", the name of the station). Investigation into this confusing decoration choice revealed that CDOT simply took artistic license with this, somewhat to CTA's consternation, with the lettering probably considered an architectural element by CDOT without intention for a specific meaning. There had been some debate early on as to whether or not to rehab those closed part of the platform, but ultimately it was decided to do so because people see it going by on the train and if CTA ever should ever reopen the southernmost entrance (and keep in mind, there is no such plan currently) the station would already have a consistent look. Later, the "Van Buren" lettering was removed so as not to potentially confuse passengers.

Left: Construction workers install a new light tray facing the northbound track, looking south on August 11, 2003. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Right: CDOT has gone through a succession of temporary signage at Jackson, including their first generation paper signs (foreground) and the later CTA-standard signs, still unlamented and mounted on foamcore, seen on August 12, 2003. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

As of the end of July 2003, all of the new granite flooring was installed, with the exception of some small sections on the narrow section along the stairs to and auxiliary rooms under the Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine, on the southbound side. During the last few weeks of July, workers installed the brackets and supports under the two colonnade soffits near the platform edges to hold the light trays to be installed along both sides of the platform. On Monday, August 4, the first new, permanent light trays were installed facing the tracks on both sides, from behind the north lower transfer tunnel stairs to a bit south of the south tunnel stairs. Over the next week or so, crews continued to install the light trays facing the tracks on both sides of the platform. Installing these bulky, heavy troughs typically involved several construction workers, first using a hydraulic lift to raise the sections into place, then having workers on ladders guide it into the brackets and bolting it in.

Also in mid-August, CDOT replaced their temporary foamcore-mounted paper station symbol signs (the only identification signage in the station) with CTA -standard graphics. Although signage was still spartan -- this was, unfortunately, somewhat of a necessary evil because CDOT crews were working in so many placed at once that there were very few places to hang signage -- it was now in a standard, easier-to-read format and provided more information. Included in the revised temporary signs were new Current Graphic Standard symbol signs, small square signs directing passengers to the mezzanine exits and to the Blue Line transfer tunnel, and certain regulatory signs. However, CDOT initially produced them in the same way as the first temporary signs: paper mounted on foamcore, drilled to the columns. Although these new ones lasted slightly longer than the previous versions, they too eventually fell victim to vandalism. In mid-September, CDOT reproduced all of the temporary signage in a harder, less easily vandalized material which stood up well.

During the third week in August, work began on the south stairway entrance from the platform to the Adams-Jackson mezzanine, work on the north entranceway having been completed previously. To allow for this phase of work, the berth markers at Jackson were once again temporarily relocated, effective Friday, August 15, at 1000 hours, this time with more extensive repositioning of trains. All of the berthings were shifted south to facilitate work on the Adams-Jackson entranceway from the platform. On Monday, August 18 at 0500 hours, the south stairway and escalator leading from the platform to mezzanine level at Adams-Jackson were temporarily closed and barricaded to prevent entry. The north stairs to the mezzanine at Adams-Jackson remained open for egress and the accessible Jackson-Van Buren entrance remained open at all times. Just as at Jackson-Van Buren, CDOT and contractor F. H. Paschen removed the old and installed a new ceiling, walls, granite floor, rolling grille gate and light trays around the entranceway. The Adams-Jackson south stairs remained closed until Thursday, September 18 at 0500 hours, moved back from the originally scheduled reopening date of September 8.

The first section of light trays facing inward toward the center of the platform, with integrated backlit graphics, were installed between the transfer tunnel stairs in late August, seen looking south on August 29, 2003. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

During the last week of August 2003, the first light trays facing the middle of the platform went up on both sides. These are significant in that, unlike those facing the tracks, these trays also contain station graphics, including station name signage (whose format differs slightly from the standard ones in that there are just the station name in white on a gray background, but do not have address coordinates), signage pointing to the mezzanine exits (white letters on a red background, somewhat analogous to the tabs on typical Current Graphic Standard station name signs), and spaces for A/V signs. Also included are a somewhat new type of sign: directional map signs. These signs, which are common on most other subway systems, including the London Underground, Washington Metro, Toronto TTC, and Paris Metro among countless others, list all the stations between the station you're at and the end of the line for each direction of travel. They are very useful wayfinding devices for those who are unfamiliar with the system because they tell you exactly what train to take to get to a particular station on the line (as opposed to having to figure out if your station is between where you are and a particular terminal, as the current CTA "roller curtain"-oriented wayfinding signs require). These types of signs have been prototyped by CTA on a limited basis already in two types: a vertically-oriented design that is meant to be viewed up close and is typically used at a mezzanine decision point where side platforms are used (this was the first type prototyped and was first tested at Hoyne; a prototype is currently at Southport), and a horizontally-oriented type that is to be used on island platforms and made to be viewed from a distance (like, say, on a tunnel wall from a subway island platform; this type was prototyped at Jackson/Dearborn). At Jackson/State, small versions of these directional map signs are in the light trays and larger versions are on the tunnel walls. The interesting thing is, the design that has been put in the light trays so far is very unusual and somewhat jarring, as it does not follow CTA graphic design standards in several respects, including the use of a non-Helvetica font, the use of a dashed line to represent the subway portion of the Red Line but without a legend to explain it (a visual device or icon like that is typically accompanied by a key, unless it is a universal symbol, like an accessibility icon), and the use of an unusual "fade" effect on the bar representing the Red Line to show that it continues in the opposite direction past the station. The design is in stark contrast to the three prototypes of this sign type tested at Hoyne, Jackson/Dearborn, and Southport, which adhere closer to CTA Current Graphic Standard design rules and adapt them to what is an otherwise new and never-before-seen CTA sign.

In mid-September, the light trays over the transfer tunnel stairs were installed on the steel beams that were retrofit into the archway in Spring, seen looking south at the head of the north stairs to the tunnel on September 18, 2003. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

A few light trays with the backlit directional map signs and "tabs" were the first to go up, but by the second week of September 2003 nearly the entire platform had light trays installed facing the center of the platform, displaying the full spectrum of backlit signage. During the third week of September, light trays were placed on the heavy steel beams over the stairs down to the Blue Line transfer tunnel, with backlit signage saying "Blue Line" with a train icon and an arrow down. There was also a light tray over the newly-reopened Adams-Jackson stairs with a backlit sign for that exit.

The flooring was completed later in the summer. With the last sections being finished, some of the details were then installed, such as inlaid metalwork at the bottom of the stairs from each mezzanine that include an arrow pointing to each track with the directional of travel below.

By mid-November 2003, with just over a month and a half before the projected completion of the project, the renovation was progressing to the finishing stages. During the week of October 20, contractors installed the new brown acoustical panels on the tunnel walls along the platform. The tiles only go about 2/3 of the way up the tunnel wall (the same height as the old blue panels from the 1980s, still in place further north on the continuous platform) and consist of three sections: two lower sections of equally-sized square panels and a header of thinner panels about 18" wide. Some of these header panels have a reflective red surface affixed to them, part of what will be a continuous course of station name signs on red band, while the others are left in their brown finish. On the upper row of square panels will be alternating advertising panels, directional line maps and views of State Street. The square panels were installed first, with the header panels installed beginning the week of October 27 (after a few went up with the initial panel installation the week before).

Some additional work was done on the lower-level transfer tunnel in mid-November. The tunnel was temporarily closed from Friday, November 14 at 2200 hours through Monday, November 17, 2003 at 0500 hours while a contractor scrubbed, washed and applied a waterproofing sealer to tunnel surfaces. Other work at the station was also underway, including additional electrical work, installing of more lighting components, and other work. Several finishes and platform amenities also still needed to be installed.

Early in the week of November 16, 2003 the columns were painted and the symbol signs began to be mounted, beginning with the south end of the southbound side and moving on from there. By the weekend of November 22-23, the signs were applied to both sides on the entire length of the platform -- though not every sign on every column was yet installed -- and the first directional maps were posted on the acoustical panels on the tunnel wall of the northbound side.

In the final weeks of the project, crews are installing a payphone on one of the columns along the northbound side at left, while the corner pieces of the stainless steel light tray are being installed in the background at the Jackson-Van Buren elevator on December 18, 2003. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

During the week of December 1, crews installed the station name signs on the acoustical panels on the tunnel walls opposite the platforms. There are two sizes the station name signs -- one that's roughly the length of three acoustical panels, which are each 50"x50", and a longer version that about the length of four panels -- and they fit into the thinner header strip along the top of the acoustical paneling. Both sizes are longer than a typical station name sign, and the word "Jackson" is only so long, so there is a lot of "negative" gray background space on either side of the wording, which is especially obvious on the longer variation. The shorter signs are over advertising panels and directional maps, while the longer versions are mounted over panoramic views of State Street.

By the end of the first week of December, a couple of the southbound directional maps were also in place, with the balance installed the following week. By mid-December, nearly all of the new signage was installed and crews had also installed the panoramic views of State Street on the acoustical paneling. These have the interesting dual function of both being artwork and providing wayfinding for persons exiting the station. The panels depict present-day State Street -- a change from the more historic-looking, sepia-tone views suggested in earlier designs and renderings -- looking north and south from Jackson Blvd. on each side of the street, with the views of the east and west streetwalls posted on the corresponding tunnel walls along the platform. The stylized photos are so labeled -- "East Side of State Street" says one in the middle, with "View Looking Northeast" and "View Looking Southeast" under each side-by-side photo -- and so they are effectively showing people what they will see when they exit the station, allowing tourists and new customers to orient themselves.

By the end of the month, work at the station was mostly limited to small finishing tasks, like installing the corner pieces in the stainless steel light tray at the mezzanine stairs and over the Blue Line transfer tunnel stairs. During the third week of December, new benches were installed along the platform as well, sporting curved wood slat seats and stainless steel circles that double as legs underneath, mounted on granite bases, and as a curved bar projecting through the slats at each end of the bench. These can serve the dual function of arm rests and discouraging loiterers from laying down on the benches.

Other work underway at the station during December 2003 also included additional electrical work, installation of more lighting components, and more finishing work on the new Rail Janitor offices in the former Van Buren-Congress mezzanine. The mezzanine has few remnants of its former, original incarnation left. One of the four stairways to the street, at the southeast corner, was restored and had a State Street-style gold stair enclosure installed, albeit with a simpler design and a gate on the front to stop the public from entering. Crews also installed new lighting at the far north and south ends of the continuous platform, outside of the normal boarding areas.

Preparing for the press conference the next day, CDOT workers polish up the new stainless steel light trays looking south at Jackson on January 19, 2004. For a larger view, click here. (Photos by Graham Garfield)

On January 20, 2004, officials from the Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Department of Transportation heralded the completion of renovations to the platform at the Jackson station on the Red Line subway at a press conference at the newly refurbished stop.

"When CTA customers experience the new amenities here at Jackson and at other renovated facilities throughout the system, it will reinforce their choice of public transit and they will be more likely to recommend the CTA to others," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "This renovation is another prime example of Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago's commitment to help the CTA deliver on time, clean, safe and friendly service to our customers."

While work was substantially complete on the renovated station at the time of the press conference, several punchlist items were still being worked on. These included additional work on the new Van Buren-Congress offices and the installation of a Transit Information Board on the platform between the two stairs down to the transfer tunnel.

In late September 2005, a new stainless steel information panel, a double-sided kiosk supported by stainless steel posts on granite bases, was installed on the platform. In October 2005, crews installed flat-panel displays in the kiosks, which provide news and information from the CTA . The platform kiosk was covered by a plywood enclosure again shortly after while additional work was done. The kiosk was finally unveiled and activated in late December 2005.

The Federal Transit Administration provided 60% of the funding for the $16.9 million project. Forty percent came from the Illinois FIRST program.

The work at Jackson station represents one piece of an extensive campaign to renovate nearly all of the downtown subway system. Since 1990, CDOT has renovated subway stations at Adams-Jackson/State (1991), Adams-Jackson/Dearborn (1991), Clark/Lake (1996), Roosevelt (1996), Randolph-Washington (1997), Jackson-Van Buren (1997), and Chicago (2000) stations. The Roosevelt transfer tunnel project between the Red Line subway and Orange/Green line elevated stations was completed in December 2002. Along with the construction of new Clark/Lake, Washington/Wells, and Library-State/Van Buren elevated stations in 1992, 1995, and 1997, respectively, the City of Chicago had invested nearly $798.5 million in downtown CTA infrastructure improvements since 1989.


After Renovation

Looking ahead from the Jackson renovation project, the Chicago Transit Board approved a $642,569 design contract for the replacement of 10 Loop subway escalators on June 4, 2003. The design work is the precursor to replacing the units with new escalators. The escalators pegged for replacement include seven on the Red Line, including one at Jackson-Van Buren and two at Adams-Jackson, and three on the Blue Line. Chicago-based Globetrotters Engineering Corporation was selected to provide architectural and engineering services for the project following a competitive bidding process. Globetrotters Engineering has committed to meet the 30 percent Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal by subcontracting to SPAAN Technology, Inc., also based in Chicago. Rehabilitation involves completely stripping an escalator of all parts and replacing it with new or reconditioned parts, keeping only the original outer shell. Decisions on which escalators receive rehab or replacement are based on the age of the escalator, the condition of the escalator and the volume of customers passing through the station. The Regional Transportation Authority and the Federal Transit Administration are providing capital funding for the contract. Construction will take place between September 2004 and May 2006.

In September 2004, Dunkin' Donuts, the coffee and baked goods chain, broke ground on seven new concessions in CTA stations around the "L" system. One such new concession was located at the Adams-Jackson mezzanine of Jackson 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. The new concession opened in 2005.


Midday passengers enjoy the brighter environment and new amenities of the renovated Jackson/State station on January 26, 2004. As part of the renovation, CDOT installed new acoustical paneling on the tunnels walls (with a red band signifying the Red Line, directional line maps, and historic photos of State Street), improved lighting, new signage, new flooring, information kiosks, and new decorative tiling in the ceiling above the platform. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

Original Jackson (1943-2002) | Renovated Jackson station (2000-present)

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Southbound Jackson/State symbol sign, from the period before 1993 when trains were through-routed to the Englewood and Jackson Park branches. (Sign from the Graham Garfield Collection)

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Passageways beneath Court Place (Washington/State station) and Quincy Street (Jackson/State, pictured above) connect the Dearborn Street and State Street subways so that passengers could easily transfer between trains on the North-South and Northwest-West lines. (Photo by the Peter Fish Studios)

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A view down the 3500 foot island platform in the State Street subway shortly after its opening in 1943. In the distance and stopped on the other track (visible on the right side of the picture) are 4000-series trains. These steel cars are the only type of rolling stock that were allowed in the subway due to the fire hazard and collision danger presented by using the wooden cars. Note the CRT station attendant on the right, clad in a classic-style trainman's uniform. (Photo by the Peter Fish Studios)

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According to publicity at the time, "outside noises are so effectively minimized by these special telephone booths that privacy is assured without the use of doors." Ah, the miracles of modern science. (Photo by the Peter Fish Studios)

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The south stairs from the Jackson platform down to the low-level transfer tunnel, looking north on June 13, 2002, one day before its closure for rehabilitation. Note the Deco detailing on the railings around the stairway opening, befitting its early 1940s construction. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The Jackson transfer tunnel, looking west on June 13, 2002, was simple in its original Art Moderne form. The smooth, unadorned walls and curved ceiling were typical features of the Depression-era architectural style. The green trim was part of the subways' scheme of rotating colors for each station to aid in identification. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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At the midpoint between the subways in the tunnel, the walls had lettering inlaid in the wall tile to instruct transferring riders which way each subway was. The Futura-like lettering was standard for the original subways. This view if of the north wall on June 13, 2002. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Plushies (4000s) at Jackson Boulevard (North-South) in 1968. They were on a fan trip and the photo is of the rear of the southbound train. (Photo by Leon Kay)

Renovated Jackson station

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One of the few pieces of street furniture that weren't replaced when State Street was remodeled in the mid-1990s was this elevator kiosk down to the Adams-Jackson mezzanine, seen looking northwest on May 20, 2004. Located on Quincy Street just west of State Street, the rectilinear enclosure dates from the Skidmore-designed modernist-style streetscape installed in the late 1970s. When State Street was renovated into its current Beaux Arts streetscape, most subway entrances were replaced with classical-style gold-colored structures. For some reason -- perhaps because it is off State Street proper -- this one remained, though it was painted gold to be somewhat less obvious. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine, looking west in the summer of 2000, shortly after reopening from a four year renovation. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Cutaway artist's rendition of the renovated Jackson/State subway platform. As part of the renovation, CDOT installed new acoustical paneling on the tunnels walls (with a red band signifying the Red Line, directional line maps, and historic photos of State Street), improved lighting, new signage, new flooring, information kiosks, and new decorative tiling in the ceiling above the platform. (Drawing from the Chicago Department of Transportation)

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Looking north at the south end of the stairs to the Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine on July 24, 2002. Crews began stripping the columns at this end of the platform -- where they have clearly already completed their work -- and worked their way north. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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By August 29, 2002, all of the acoustical panels had been removed along the southbound track as far as at the Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine, but a few still remained as seen here looking south. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Removed acoustical panels and signs from the Jackson continuous platform are stacked on unused section of the continuous platform near Van Buren-Congress, looking south on August 29, 2002. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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After the acoustical panels have been removed, the tunnel walls were repainted white, as seen here along the northbound track on August 29, 2002. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The wall cladding has been completely stripped from the transfer tunnel, as seen looking south at the north stairs from the platform on August 17, 2002. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The walls at the ends of the renovated transfer tunnel have a slightly different scheme, with horizontal bands of white, light gray, and either red or blue, symbolizing which line is at that end of the tunnel (in this case, the Blue Line). Note in this view, on February 3, 2003, that the original wall tiles, stairs, and railings are still in place on the stairs (at left) up to the unrenovated Blue Line platform. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The new railings around the south stairs, looking north on February 3, 2003, on its first day the tunnel's reopening after renovation. The stainless steel fixture, which has an almost neo-Deco styling, fits with the abundant use of stainless steel in CDOT's designs. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The renovated Jackson transfer tunnel, looking east on February 3, 2003. The bulkheads at each end of the tunnel -- where the ceiling lowers due to the presence of the trackbed above -- are clad in colored tiles denoting the color of the subway line at that end. Eventually, an AV sign will be where the metal plate is. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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A new light fixture in the renovated Jackson transfer tunnel on February 3, 2003. Note the red and blue tints on each side, denoting the way to each line in the tunnel. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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In preparation for the installation of the new granite flooring, a construction worker is jack-hammering up the old concrete flooring in a cordoned-off area on the south side of the elevator at the foot of the stairs to the Jackson-Van Buren mezzanine on March 10, 2003. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The short section of new brown acoustical panels on the outer wall of the southbound tunnel near the Adams-Jackson mezzanine on April 7, 2003. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The floor between the two stairs to the transfer tunnel, seen here on May 12, 2003, has been cleared and grated, ready to accept the new red granite floor panels. The steel beam will eventually hold light trays with backlit panels that will indicate the stairs down to the Blue Line. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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This view, looking north on May 12, 2003, shows the metal paneling installed as a protective barrier, the tiled panels affixed over them, and the new stainless steel security kiosk. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Temporary symbol signs like this one, seen on May 26, 2003, were installed by CDOT around Memorial Day to provide at least some station identification until the permanent signage is installed later this year. The non-resilient materials used make them unlikely to last too long. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Some of the new light trays facing inward toward the center of the platform have directional maps signs -- unusual for their markedly non-CTA standard graphic style -- such as this one on the southbound side between the transfer tunnel stairs, seen on August 29, 2003. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Other light tray graphics include variants of the station name signs (only with the address coordinates) and red panels (approximating station name sign tabs) indicating the different exits, seen on September 10, 2003. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Looking south on November 13, 2003 between the stairs to the lower transfer tunnel, much of the platform renovation is nearing completion, including the recent addition of the acoustical panels on the tunnel walls. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The acoustical paneling is complete along the southbound tunnel in this November 13, 2003 looking south. Some of the header panels are a reflective red, as seen in the glare from the camera's flash. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Looking south on the platform just beyond the stairs to the transfer tunnel on November 24, 2003, the signage on the columns and on the stair railings has just been installed. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Looking north on the renovated Jackson subway platform, most of the new fittings such as the light trays, acoustical panels and even trash cans have been installed at this point, about a month before completion of the project. Some pieces of the light tray, tunnel wall signage, and other fittings are still awaiting installation. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Looking north up the southbound track, in late November 2003 the brown acoustical panels had been installed along with most of the vinyl station name signs, but some of the reflective red headers applications were still missing. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The renovated Jackson subway station features signs in the light tray that mimic the more traditional signs on the tunnel walls and line maps that indicate the stations in the each direction of travel, seen here on the northbound side on December 6, 2003. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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By the time of this December 18, 2003 view looking south from the Adams-Jackson elevator, the final finishes, such as the bench in the foreground, were being installed and the white protective film on the stainless steel light tray removed. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Panoramic views of State Street, which with their labeling and location both being artwork and wayfinding, are installed on the acoustical paneling underneath station name signs, alternating with directional maps signs. These views of the east side of State Street are seen on December 18, 2003. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The renovated Jackson subway station features line maps that indicate the stations in the each direction of travel, similar to many other transit systems and earlier prototyped at Jackson/Dearborn station, seen here on the northbound tunnel wall on December 18, 2003. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The portions of the continuous platform north and south of the train berthing locations but still considered part of Jackson station are also getting some improvements. Looking north toward Monroe to the north of the vertical access to the Adams-Jackson mezzanine on December 18, 2003, the red concrete floorings is still in place but new acoustical panels are in place and new lighting in being installed. The darker-lit Monroe station is in the distance. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Midday passengers enjoy the brighter environment and new amenities of the renovated Jackson/State station on January 26, 2004. Note the payphone that is being installed in the I-beam on the right. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The southeast stairway to the Van Buren-Congress mezzanine -- one of four that was closed when the mezzanine was abandoned in 1984 and sealed when State Street was renovated in 1996 -- was reopened in 2003 when the mezzanine was gutted and turned into offices for the CTA Rail Janitors. To make the street-level entrance to the mezzanine fit into the surrounding streetscape a gold subway stair enclosure similar in style to the other along State Street was installed, albeit with a simpler design (owing to the fact that it's not, in fact, a subway entrance) and a gate on the front to stop the public from entering, seen here looking northwest on August 16, 2004. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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In April 2005, CDOT's contractor replaced the directional map signs on the tunnel walls with different graphics, ones whose conventions are oddly unlike other CTA signage. The northbound line diagram is seen on April 10, 2005. Note the dirt on the lower row of acoustical panels: it is brake dust, a problem in the confined space of nearly every urban subway system in the world. (Photo by Graham Garfield)