Station rejuvenation harks back to Chicago architectural tradition, creates new gateway to the Midway Plaisance
Metra’s 59th Street station doesn’t do justice to its location next to the Midway Plaisance (aka the Midway), a cherished public park surrounded by the University of Chicago’s renowned buildings. Commuters pass through the dark station, then climb rocking wooden stairs that access wooden platforms. The 60th Street station is even worse—it had to be shut down.
Renovations not only improve safety and achieve handicap accessibility but also revive the 59th Streetstation to make it worthy of its location. All work (i.e., station upgrades, new headhouse, new warming shelters and windbreaks) will be mirrored at the 60th Street station.
The 59th Street station will become one of the most prominent stops on Metra’s electric line. It will access such South Side destinations as the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, the Barack Obama Presidential Center, the University of Chicago, and the DuSable Museum of African American History. Additionally, a forthcoming 12-story hotel and conference center will look down on the station.
The design adds more glass at street level for better views into and out of the station. The headhouse’s continuous glass wall exhibits the station’s surroundings.