Washington/State station in May 2005 prior to its October 2006 closure
|Location||128 North State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
|Owned by||City of Chicago|
|Platforms||1 Island platform|
|Opened||October 17, 1943|
|Closed||October 23, 2006|
Washington/State is an abandoned 'L' station on the CTA's Red Line. It was a subway station in the State Street Subway located at 128 North State Street in downtown Chicago, Illinois. It is the only closed CTA subway station. At street level at State & Washington is the terminal for night owl bus routes.
The platform at Washington/State is part of a long continuous platform beneath State Street which runs from the Jackson station to the Lake station, spanning nearly seven blocks, making it the United States' longest continuous passenger platform. There were two mezzanines with turnstiles for the station: a northern at Randolph shared with the Lake station and a southern at Madison. There are stairs and escalators along State Street between Randolph and Madison to access both mezzanines. Additionally, Washington is equipped with an elevator and was therefore accessible to people with disabilities.
There were two stairways on the platform to a lower level pedestrian tunnel that connected the Washington station to its counterpart on the Blue Line subway, Washington/Dearborn, to allow transfers between the Red and Blue Lines. Lake station to the north of Washington/State and Washington/State station were originally a single station, but they were separated on June 2, 1996 due to the renovation project of the Randolph-Washington mezzanine and Lake became an independent station on November 18, 1997 in order to better facilitate transfers between the Red Line subway and the elevated State/Lake station.
Closure for superstation
As part of the development of 108 North State Street (commonly known as "Block 37") the CTA planned to construct a superstation located between the Red and Blue Lines (which run in parallel subways through the Loop). Washington/State station, and the lower level transfer tunnel to the Blue Line were closed at 12:00 a.m. on October 23, 2006 for work related to the construction of this new station. The platform was cut at an angle to facilitate a future track connection from the northbound State Street track to the super station and the northbound Blue Line track north of Washington, linking O'Hare and Midway airports via the Blue, Red, and Orange lines' tracks. A similar excavation was made north of the Blue Line's Washington station to allow a future connection for southbound Blue Line trains to travel east to the super station and the southbound Red Line track.
Following cost overruns of $100 million the superstation was indefinitely mothballed in June 2008. The Block 37 superstation, which had already been excavated and partially built, was left abandoned. The hole that had been excavated in Washington's platform was filled in. The transfer tunnel and Washington-Madison mezzanine were both sealed off and the station platform reopened in 2010. However, trains never resumed stopping at the station. The mezzanines still have power supplied to them.
When the CTA closed the Washington/State station, most of it was left intact. No work was performed to decommission the Washington-Madison mezzanine, and the fare turnstiles and machines still remain. The platform changed little, except for the removal of its signage. However, the signs that say "Escalator: Washington-Madison" and "To Madison or Monroe St" were not removed for unknown reasons. Until February 2015, the "Washington: To Howard" and "Washington: To 95/Dan Ryan" signs also remained on the walls of the southern half of the Lake station. At some signs at Lake, rail line maps suggest the Washington station still exists. The station's recorded announcement file still remains on trains' audio systems, although the file is not directly programmed to line announcements and is not accessible by motormen via the regular announcement system. The station platform is still in good condition with the mezzanines nearly untouched. The CTA does not consider Washington/State permanently closed, but there are no current plans to reopen the station.