The Cermak- McCormick Place station serves the country’s largest convention center and a stretch of the Green Line that was without a station since 1978. Like many infill stations in the system, a narrow right-of-way created challenges for building a station to better serve this diverse and growing community.
A resolution of the demands of the project; Low-cost, speedy construction, no track relocation, narrow right-of-way, and a memorable gateway – was the development of a perforated stainless steel tube over Cermak Road that covers the platform and tracks. The perforated stainless steel and polycarbonate tube performs multiple duties: wind and rain protection; with no structural supports on the platform, a wider usable space creates comfort for train users; materials are moved out of easy reach of vandals; and the station is easy to identify from a distance.
Glass, polycarbonate, and perforated stainless steel are used to maximize visibility, views, and natural light in the station houses and on the platform. For ease of maintenance and durability, glazed masonry units and granite are used for the interior walls and floors. Sustainable materials include locally sourced products and fly ash concrete, which uses nearby waste materials to make it dense and stable.
With access and views to Chinatown, McCormick Place, and Chicago’s Loop, the station has helped generate billions of dollars in development and sits at the center of a burgeoning entertainment district. With a new events arena, convention center expansion, hotels, retail, and residential, Cermak McCormick Place serves over a half-million passengers a year; providing surprise and delight to a utilitarian experience.