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CTA Cermak-McCormick Place Station

Ross Barney Architects

Project Name

CTA Cermak-McCormick Place Station



  • General Contractor: Chicago Department of Transportation
  • General Contractor: F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen
  • Other: T.Y. Lin International
  • Other: Singh and Associates
  • Other: LTK Engineering
  • Urban Works

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Project Description

This is one of twelve American projects on the 2016 World Architecture Festival shortlist.


This infill station on the CTA’s elevated Green line serves Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center. The original station (1892-1977) featured side platforms, but subsequent rail realignments left space for only a 14’ wide center platform (new center platforms are typically 22’). Existing steel bents and track stringers cannot support added platform and canopy loads.

The unusual design solution creates an independent structure supporting new loads and literally threaded through and around the historic tracks. To maximize the platform space, all canopy and windbreak structures were combined into a tube protecting passengers from the elements. The tube is supported outboard of the tracks.

Cast in place concrete provided construction flexibility for the new bents. The tube is constructed of bent pipe assembled on an adjacent site into 120’ sections and lifted into place during low traffic hours to minimize train disruptions. Aluminum shingles and a polycarbonate skylight form the tube enclosure. The shingles are perforated to allow summer ventilation while providing rain and wind protection. A specially designed clip allows replacement of individual shingles for ease of maintenance. LED lighting, dynamic signage and audio communication devices are carried in a suspended stainless steel framework to free the platform from obstructions.
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