It’s been closed for so long that I almost forgot what the building entrance to the Damen Station looked like! It was nice to see it open. They kept the old brown building intact as an entrance. However, except for the exterior face, the little brown building is no longer exposed to the outside elements.
With the brick cleaned and restored, it was nice to see the beauty of the old station house and even nicer to see the words, “Damen” and “Open” on the same sign.
Remember the old, rusty girders? Here is the new look, lacking the rust that made anyone wonder how structurally sound they were.
New signs in English and Braille greet the passengers. I like the signs, as I have never been a fan of trudging up the stairs hauling groceries only to realize that I should be on the “other” platform! Of course now we also have elevators.
Here’s a peek into the old station house where passengers would go through the turnstyles and buy their bus cards or add money to their fare cards. The shiny cream and vanilla colored bricks were pretty. There was a woman doing an interview with a cameraman so I couldn’t go into the room to take more photos.
This is the outside of the building, on the north wall. Back in time, before they closed the station in November 2007, this wall was the outside of the building and was adjacent to a dry cleaners. That building was torn down for this construction project.
This space is where the dry cleaners used to be, and it houses a bike rack. I’m sure this will be a welcome addition for cyclists who have had to leave their bikes chained out front before, occasionally gifted with a bit of pigeon poo.
The new lights at the station:
And here’s a picture of the new platform.
And our favorite site, the train coming around the bend to the Damen station!
Notice how well maintained the platform is? I always noticed that the crew that did maintenance at this station before it was redone did a very good job. Damen never had that eau de urine ‘scent’ that plagued some of the other stations. Props to the guys that did such a good job, and welcome back! This photo was taken around 1:00 PM today. I understand that some of the crew started at 3:00 AM to clean the platforms and sidewalks. They did a much better job than many property owners did!!
PS Posting on 2-21-09: If you’re not running late, check out the Suitcase Traveler Art when you’re at the Damen Brown Line Station.
As a CTA Brown Line Rider who does not have a car, I depend on this line for my transportation around the city. I can assure anyone that while walking to either the Western Avenue or Montrose Avenue stations is fine on a nice day, it becomes immeasurably unpleasant when walking on icy sidewalks and carrying two heavy grocery bags of food.
Like many Damen Brown Line riders, I am eagerly awaiting the station’s reopening. These photos were taken on November 25th, prior to Thanksgiving. You can see some noticeable progress that has been made from an earlier post in most of these photos.
At least now, the exit seems connected to the platform.
The big rust bucket looking girder has been replaced, no doubt a part of the weekend where Damen
was blocked off to traffic. THAT is a huge visual improvement, and the absence of the badly rusted steel helps to alleviate that feeling that the tracks weren’t as structurally sound as they should be.
And here’s the entrance, looking neither friendly nor open for business.
The December 1st email Newsletter from Alderman Schulter
announced that the Irving Park Station would be reopened on December 6th
. While I was disappointed that Damen
wasn’t opening on the same day, since the station was closed November 26th of last year, us Damen station Brown Line riders won’t have too much more of a wait.
An inside source of mine tells me that they are scheduled to open by mid December and right now Dec. 13th is the day I’m hearing. We’ll know soon enough if my “Deep Throat” is as reliable as the one had by Woodward and Bernstein.
Update as of December 10, 2008
I spoke to “Deep Throat” and this person said that December 19th is the new date. After slip-sliding my way on icy and bumpy sidewalks to walk to the Western Ave station, I will be very happy if this is a “good date,” as I am sure many others will be as well.
Yesterday I walked by and saw part of the new station (ground level) and it looks nice!! I just received Alderman Schulter’s email newsetter (12-12-08), and he received word from the CTA that the Damen Brown Line stop was opening this Saturday, the 19th, hooray! Finalamente and after over a year of being closed, I am looking forward to not having to slip slide my way to Western Avenue!
I was walking to a shop on Damen Tuesday, and took these photos from the Eastwood Avenue side of the construction for the Damen elevated stop. Anyone who lives on Eastwood or Leland, as well as the surrounding streets west of Damen, can testify to the increase in construction activity lately, especially at night. Many of us have been awakened several times, to say the least. Construction, however, continues to be a good thing for those who depend on this train station to take them anywhere, especially grocery shopping. Walking to and from the Montrose or Western stations is fine if you aren’t schlepping two heavy bags of groceries and it’s raining, snowing or you’re ice skating down the sidewalk.
Looking at these photos is surely a happy sight for any of us need to use this line regularly.
This shot is from Eastwood from an alley facing north. You can see the steel structure below, painted white, which is a vast improvement over the rusted look that most of these tracks have sported.
Here we have a “shelter to be,” awaiting something to stand on, of course.
This shot is from Damen avenue looking north. You can see the old and the new, and the old rusty steel sandwiched between the clean looking white ones.
Last but not least is a photo of one of the exits. Not yet completed, it provides an odd look of a stairway going nowhere.
It was around or on November 21st, 2007 that they closed this station for a year. Right now we’re looking at nearly two more months of inconvenience, and soon after we’ll have a new, updated and more handicapped accessible station. This of course will become an even happier event when my most used destination station, Paulina, opens some time in 2009.