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CTA’s Temporary Bryn Mawr Red Line Station Win ‘People’s Choice’ Award from Illinois’ Top Architecture Organization

September 16, 2022

Temporary Red Line Station at Bryn Mawr, CTA Quincy Loop Station, were category finalists in the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago competition

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), in partnership with EXP, an engineer and architecture firm, and contractor Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Team, today announced that the temporary Red Line station at Bryn Mawr received the Lerch Bates People’s Choice architectural award in the “Civic” category from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago. The station was built to serve rail customers during construction of the agency’s $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project, which includes rebuilding Bryn Mawr and three other Red Line stations into fully accessible, modern facilities.

The awards were announced this week at the AIA’s “Designight 2022” event. CTA’s Quincy Loop station was also among the finalists for the inaugural Lerch Bates People’s Choice Awards. The winner was selected by the public in open voting from the finalists’ designs chosen by Chicago Architecture Center’s Docents in a round one jury review from over 125 projects submitted. Both the Bryn Mawr and Quincy station projects were designed by EXP:

  • Bryn Mawr temporary Red Line station at Bryn Mawr, 5619 N Broadway. The station opened in 2021 and was built to provide convenient southbound access to the Red Line during the ongoing $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One project. The station features a red exterior and passenger amenities including Ventra machines and turnstiles. RPM will permanently rebuild the Bryn Mawr station following the completion of adjacent track structure, and will be fully accessible to customers when it opens by 2025. While designed as a temporary facility to serve passengers during the first half of construction, CTA and EXP developed a design that was attractive to the community and pleasing to customers given the duration of the RPM project (2019-25).
  • Quincy Loop station, 220 S. Wells. The historic station, originally built in 1897, underwent an $18.2 million rehabilitation in 2017-18 that added two elevators, making the station fully accessible to customers. The project also rehabilitated various historic features of the station.

    “I thank the distinguished American Institute of Architects Chicago Chapter for this honor, and for recognizing our work to make our stations more aesthetically pleasing and accessible for all CTA customers,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “CTA stations are important centerpieces for communities, and we believe strongly in combining form and function.”

    “EXP’s design team is honored to celebrate the awards alongside the CTA, as they represent the team’s commitment to design excellence and reshaping transit for Chicagoans,” said Thomas Hoepf, FAIA, EXP’s Vice Senior Vice President / Design Director. “I affectionately refer to the temporary station at Bryn Mawr as, ‘the little engine that could’ as it must punch above its weight because of its diminutive size among larger buildings along the busy corridor.”

    “While the Bryn Mawr Station is only temporary, we are pleased with the functionality it has provided as well as the way it stands out in the local area,” said Dave Shier, RPM Project Executive for Walsh-Fluor.

    This is the latest in notable architectural awards for CTA station design. In 2021, the CTA received one of AIA Illinois’s highest architectural honors, the Greatest Impact Award, for the transformative renovation of its historic Garfield Green Line station. In prior years, CTA stations that have received AIA awards and recognition include 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line, Washington/Wabash Loop, Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line and Damen Blue Line.
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The Bryn Mawr Red Line temporary station. It serves southbound Red Line customers during “Stage A” of the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr track and reconstruction work (2021-23). Stage A is rebuilding northbound Red and Purple Line track structures; Stage B (2023-25) will rebuild the southbound structures and rebuild the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations into fully accessible, modern stations. The Stage B Bryn Mawr station is already under construction.