Prairie Crossing train station warming house uses Arts and Crafts style to welcome commuters and complement neighbors
Residents of Prairie Crossing pride themselves on the preserved land that surrounds their rural “conservation community.” Unfortunately, one of the facilities at the adjacent Prairie Crossing train station (Libertyville, Illinois) was a decrepit double-wide trailer where commuters waited to catch trains to downtown Chicago.
Today, the trailer is gone and it its place stands Metra’s new warming house dressed up in durable materials and earthy colors. The 480-square-foot facility not only offers commuters a comfortable place to wait, but its Arts and Crafts style also gives a nod to the aesthetic of the Prairie Crossing neighborhood and to the station’s other shelter.
The warming house was designed by longtime Metra partner Legat Architects and built by Accel Construction. The project also upgrades sidewalks, signage, landscaping, and site furnishings.
At the May 2019 dedication ceremony, Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski said, “The new shelter makes the station more attractive but more importantly provides a safe and more comfortable waiting area that better serves existing riders and can attract new ones.”
Durable Materials, Lively Colors
Ted Haug, design principal at Legat, said that the design team specified simulated materials that have the right look, but are more durable than their natural counterparts. Examples include the stone base and windowsills, cladding that resembles wood, and a simulated shake roof shingle. Within the warming house, exposed timber beams and a structural wood deck carry through the aesthetic.
Color also plays an important role. According to Haug, the emerald green and Cherokee red, typical of the Arts and Crafts style, enliven the aesthetic and balance the more muted colors of the wood and stone.
“It’s what a warming shelter is supposed to be. . .” said Haug, “. . . warm and inviting.”
Contact us with to learn more about train station design or comment below to share your thoughts on this post. Read Ted Haug’s recent blog post on Arts and Crafts style design or his other posts on train station architecture: