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'Kicking And Screaming' Scores Pullman A Metra Stop Worthy Of A Monument

By Mark Konkol | October 25, 2016 5:21am | Updated on October 28, 2016 11:39am
 Nearly two years later —after significant “kicking and screaming” — the 111th Street stations finally looks like a stop worthy of tourists the National Monument neighborhood hopes to attract.
Nearly two years later —after significant “kicking and screaming” — the 111th Street stations finally looks like a stop worthy of tourists the National Monument neighborhood hopes to attract.
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Metra

The horror of catching a Metra Electric train at 111th Street is over, ironically enough, in time for Halloween.

There’s a spiffy new paint job at the street-level entrance that once could double as the set for a slasher flick.

And the black mold-infested warming shack that greeted train travelers when they stepped off the platform serving Chicago’s only National Monument is gone for good.

Some serious train station shame and a healthy dose of political "kicking and screaming" worked.

Back in November 2015 when Metra announced plans to give the “pathetic” and “rundown” station a $150,000 makeover, Metra bosses wouldn’t commit to building a new warming shelter even though President Barack Obama had designated the Far South Side neighborhood a national monument that year.

Back then, the 111th Street stop looked like ... well, there's no point in describing it again. Just watch this video.

Nearly two years later, the 111th Street stations finally looks like a stop worthy of tourists the National Monument neighborhood hopes to attract.

Indeed, Metra spent $250,000 on station repairs — nearly double the proposed makeover price tag — and installed a new warming shelter painted to resemble a Pullman Palace Car Co. rail car that was built in the neighborhood in 1898.

“We like to say our stations are the gateways to the communities we serve, and we’re excited to have enhanced this gateway to the Pullman National Monument,” Metra boss Don Orseno said.

“We hope it will help encourage tourism to this unique and historic site,” Orseno said.

In addition to the cute Pullman green warming shelter, the makeover updated station lights, installed new heaters and even added an electronic device charging station, among other things.

“The thing is, you try to work with people to do the right thing. Sometimes you have kick and scream to get results,” 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale said.

“This goes to show you that [Metra] is listening to what we are trying to do in the Pullman Historic District. This is a perfect example of getting results after kicking and screaming.”

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