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Things We Love: The Most Classically Stylish CTA Station Ever

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Every weekday the Chicago Transit Authority’s “El” rapid transit system serves over 640,000 riders. Not only do your Racked reporters count themselves amongst the daily riders, we know our readers do as well. We'd like to take a moment to tell you about our obsession of the moment: Quincy Station. Located at the intersection of Wells Street and Quincy in the shadow of the Willis Tower, the station is well known for its unique design. Quincy’s historic structure, vintage posters, and authentic details made this El station an instant winner.

Quincy was originally built in 1897 during the initial construction of the Loop elevated rail tracks. In an agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior during the 1980s – when plans to convert the entire Loop El system to an underground subway were finally abandoned – only one Loop platform had to be restored in order for the entire system to receive historic landmark status. Quincy was chosen because it was the easiest to restore and the closest to it’s original condition. The station houses are full of character with their authentic pressed tin ceiling and wall tiles, wood paneling, and wooden fare booths and boxes, all of which are from the original 1897 design. Minimal modern changes were made, the most obvious being the addition of energy-saving fluorescent lighting.

However, with some investigative work we did discover that the station’s signature typeface on all of the signage is ‘fancier’ than the original 1897 font. In addition, all of the vintage posters are fiberglass reproductions that replaced their water-damaged cardboard predecessors during Quincy’s 1985-1988 historic restoration. Considering what a great job the CTA did in preserving Quincy’s historic look, we can’t blame them for doing everything possible to give the station more character.- Amy Creyer
· Chicago Transit Authority [Official Site]