METRA Ogilvie Transit Center in Chicago

Photo of METRA Ogilvie Transit Center in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation

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METRA Ogilvie Transit Center
Official name:Richard B. Ogilvie Transportation Center
Formerly:North Western Station

500 West Madison, Chicago, Illinois, West Town 60661
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Rail terminals are utilitarian things; but they don't have to be ugly. It's obvious that the METRO Ogilvie station has seen better days. Its decorative clocks attest to a time when men in fedora hats would rush to the platforms to catch the last train out of town at night. But with the rebirth of downtown Chicago, and the clogging of the region's freeways, places like this train station are seeing new growth, too.
In 2001 the regional transit authority, Metra, came up with a $30,000,000 plan to fill the vacant area beneath the tracks with shops and restaurants. Right now, the viaduct is mostly walled off, but it doesn't take too much imagination to see the arches framing cafes and boutiques instead of weeds and graffiti.

Quick Facts
  • September, 2008: After years of delays, onstruction begins on MetraMarket -- a transformation of the space underneath the Ogilvie Transportation Center's tracks into a shopping complex.
    > The station is named for Richard B. Ogilvie, who helped create the Regional Transportation Authority.<br> > November, 2004 - The <i>Chicago Sun-Times</i> reports a few details of the plans to turn the unused space beneath the Metra viaduct into retail space. It is hoped that the empty space under the tracks can be turned into 120,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.
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