A 6000-series train stops at the Kedzie-Homan island platform, looking west in the 1960s. The Homan station house is up ahead on the overpass; passengers reached the platforms through sloping ramps. (Photo from the Chicago Transit Authority Collection)


(3200W/530S) Kedzie

(3400W/530S) Homan

Between Kedzie and Homan Avenues and the Eisenhower Expressway, East Garfield Park

Service Notes:

Blue Line: Forest Park

Accessible Station

Owl Service

Quick Facts:


530 S. Kedzie Avenue (Kedzie entrance)

531 S. Homan Avenue (Homan entrance)

Established: June 22, 1958
Original Line: West-Northwest Route, Congress branch
Previous Names: Kedzie

Skip-Stop Type:


Rebuilt: 2000-01
(existing facility renovated)
Status: In Use


The original Kedzie station of the Metropolitan West Side "L" was one block south of the current station in the Eisenhower Expressway, between Harrison and Flournoy Streets. (There was no Homan stop on the Garfield Park branch, but there was a station another block west of Homan at St. Louis Avenue.) Built as part of the Met's main line in 1895, the Kedzie station and the rest of the Met's main line and Garfield Park branch were demolished in 1953 while the Congress Street Expressway was being constructed. The plan included a novel concept: a rapid transit line in the median of an expressway, making a sort of transit corridor. The "new" Congress Line thus provided no net gain for the "L" system.

Kedzie was nearly identical to every other station built in the Eisenhower Expressway, including an island platform, small station houses on Kedzie's and Homan's overpasses containing only a ticket booth and turnstiles and a long, enclosed, sloping passageway/ramp connecting the two. A brochure, published by the City of Chicago to commemorate the initiation of service June 22, 1958, describes the stations this way:

Each station platform in the expressway right-of-way is the island type, 600 feet long and canopied throughout its entire length. Supported by structural aluminum columns, the canopy extends beyond the platform edge and over the roofs of cars....

Each street-level station entrance was identified by a large, electrically illuminated sign (since removed from all Congress branch stations). This type of advertising was far more proactive than anything posted in front of most stations previously, although this may have been a requirement, in part, necessitated by the removal of the station entrance from the surrounding neighborhood and its isolation in the middle of the expressway, coupled with the invisibility of the tracks and trains themselves, hidden in the open cut. The buildings were small compared to many older stations, about 42 feet long and 21 feet wide, and provided only the most minimal, necessary amenities. Exterior walls were a combination of gray glazed brick and structural glass blocks. Station entrance facades were a combination of aluminum panels, polished plate glass windows, and aluminum framed plate glass doors. The use of a glass front, which provided increased visibility into the station from the street and vice versa was a new concept that would be further explored in the CTA's next generation of median stations in the Kennedy-Dan Ryan project. The station exteriors were largely devoid of the type of ornamentation seen in the previous 50 years of station design, save perhaps for the door handles on all Congress stations, which were molded in the shape of the CTA logo. Recalling that the platform is set between two streets a quarter mile apart, there is a rather long distance that needs to be traversed between the station houses and the platforms in between. Thus, connection between the station houses and platform was achieved using long, enclosed ramps from the back of the station houses to the ends of the platform.


Name Change

The Homan entrance to Kedzie-Homan, looking northeast on March 18, 2003, as it appeared after its 2000-01 renovation. The most obvious change was the new front curtain wall with an octagonal bay. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

The station was simply named "Kedzie" when it was opened in 1958 and kept that name for 30 years. Circa early 1989, the fold-up system maps and other materials began calling the station "Kedzie-Homan", but other maps such as car card maps in the trains and internal track maps still used the name "Kedzie" into the early 1990s. By the early- or mid-1990s, the new name of "Kedzie-Homan" was being universally used, although the 1970s-era "KDR" signage in the station retained the old name.

Most evidence suggests that the name was changed simply because, unlike other Congress branch stations where one entrance is clearly primary (i.e. more passenger traffic, a bus connection) and the other is secondary (no bus connection, lower ridership, often less or in later years no ticket agent coverage), the entrances at Kedzie were more or less equal, or at least a lot closer in traffic levels than other Congress stations. This is no doubt due at least in part because both ends have bus route connections. General consensus amongst transit historians and CTA staff at the time was that the name was changed simply to reflect the more or less equal status of the station's two entrances, nothing more. While perhaps not the primary rationale, the change also had the advantage of differentiating it from the other three Kedzie stations on the system (four, when the Orange Line opened in 1993). The change may have been connected to the construction of the Homan Square housing development, a vast tract that was previously home to Sears' headquarters and catalog operations, immediately to the south of the station's Homan entrance, though this connection is largely conjectural.


Station Renovation

On July 17, 2000, the Kedzie-Homan station began a renovation project that was part of a $60.4 million program to improve 21 stations throughout the CTA system. The improvements were intended to extend the useful life of certain facilities and make them more attractive to customers and more convenient for people with disabilities. At 9:30am, Monday July 17th, the Kedzie entrance to the Kedzie-Homan station closed so the ramp from the station house to the platform could be rebuilt to provide for accessibility in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. During this time, all customers had to enter and leave the station at the Homan entrance. While the Kedzie entrance was closed, the #52 Kedzie/California buses were detoured to serve the station entrance at Homan. By mid-August, little in the way of significant alterations had been made to the exterior of the Kedzie entrance, but the interior had been completely gutted.

At 10am Monday, October 23rd, the Kedzie entrance to the station reopened and the Homan entrance closed for reconstruction. The #52 Kedzie-California buses, which had been detoured to serve the Homan entrance, returned to their regular route. With the closure of the Homan entrance, buses on the #82 Kimball-Homan route were detoured to serve the Kedzie entrance. On Friday, March 23, 2001, CTA President Frank Kruesi and 24th Ward Alderman Michael Chandler marked the official opening of the newly reconstructed Homan entrance and the completion of the reconstruction of the Kedzie-Homan station.

The improvements to the Kedzie-Homan station include modified ramps leading to the platforms to make them accessible to customers with disabilities; brighter lighting; a new audiovisual public address system that uses text messages to alert customers about train arrivals, delays, special events and other travel information; refurbished floors; newly glazed brick walls; new entrance doors; improved passenger flow entryway; new customer assistance call button; new customer assistant booth; and construction of a new utility hut under the station structure. The station improvement project cost $2.6 million.

During the 2000-01 renovation, the CTA replaced some signage in the station, but for budgetary reasons only installed new Green Line Graphic Standard signage in the station houses. The 1970s-era KDR signage on the platform, which still simply called the station "Kedzie", was not replaced under the scope of the project. However, in March 2003, the station name signs, which are sandwiched back-to-back on the station's windbreaks, were replaced with new versions that adhere to the Green Line Graphic Standard for CTA signage. The new signs were installed over two weekends, on March 1-2 and March 8-9. These new signs continued to label the station "Kedzie" rather than "Kedzie-Homan". Circa 2008, the Green Line Graphic Standard symbol signs on the canopy support columns and the station entrance signs over the doorways at both station houses were replaced with new signs that labelled the station "Kedzie-Homan".



The island platform of Kedzie-Homan station, looking east toward the Kedzie end of the station on March 18, 2003. Except for the employee phone, some modern signage and the blue tactile edge, the station platform is largely as it appeared when the station was built. For a larger view, click here. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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The Kedzie entrance to Kedzie-Homan, shortly before the station was remodeled and the front facade altered, looking north in 1999. (Photo from the CTA Collection)

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The long Kedzie-Homan platform, as it appeared looking west from the Homan Avenue bridge over the expressway on March 18, 2003. Note the platform's isolation in the middle of the expressway, from from either station entrance and connected by enclosed ramps nearly a city block in length. (Photo by Graham Garfield)

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Kedzie-Homan's new station name signs as they appeared on March 18, 2003, about two weeks after being installed. Although the signs bring more of the station's signage into the Current Graphic Standard, they propagate the station's original (and now incorrect) name rather than the revised (and now universally used) "Kedzie-Homan". (Photo by Graham Garfield)