“Erecting a mediocre piece of urban infrastructure alongside such a campus is like showing up at a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert and playing a kazoo.”
– Trib architecture critic Blair Kamin, lamenting the “functional but aesthetically-mangled” execution of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill‘s design for a new Metra station at 35th Street, near the Illinois Institute of Technology. Kamin specifically regrets the elimination of the plan’s “chief visual flourish, an elegant stainless steel railing,” which Metra replaced with “typical and mundane steel” to save $900,000.
The 35th Street / Lou Jones station opened this week, giving students and Sox fans a new way to reach Bridgeport and Bronzeville, and residents of those neighborhoods a new way to reach the Loop (fare to downtown is $2.25 on both lines) or the southwest suburbs.
You can get a glimpse of the new station near the end of my recent video about the Red Line’s 35th Street station: