State & Lake Station

Name:  Chicago Transit Authority – State & Lake Station
Location:  Chicago, Illinois
Completed:  Unbuilt
By 1895, the Lake Street extension was constructed to Wabash Avenue with stations at Fifth Avenue (later called Wells Street), Clark Street, and State Street.  The Lake Street Elevated began service over this extension September 22, 1895.  The full quadrangle of the Loop, and thus its usage by the other “L” companies, did not materialize until 1897. This represents a unique place in history for the State/Lake station and the rest of the north leg, a s it predates the rest of the Loop by several years.
All four legs of the Loop employed a different, unique style for its station houses and the Lake Street leg was no exception. They were originally quite small and incorporated elements from many styles, including some Classical Revival elements and features reminiscent of a Chinese pagoda. By 1913, many of the Loop stations underwent a number of renovations and State/Lake was one of them.  The original trackside waiting rooms were removed and new open booths were installed. Left intact, however, were much of the roofs, all platform canopies, posts, railings and many other features.
On September 11, 1998, the CTA announced that they plan to permanently close the State/Lake and Madison/Wabash elevated stations and replace the Randolph/Wabash facility with a “super station.”   Combining function, aesthetics and the need to replace “L” structures that date to the 1890s, the $29 million project was anticipated to result in more streamlined CTA operations.  HABS documentation of the station was performed and proposals for a new station were made.  The “super station” has been revised to two stations, however, it is still anticipated that the historic State/lake station will be lost.
Images and description courtesy of and  Architectural work completed by Brian Rich at Daniel P. Coffey & Associates, Ltd.