The long awaited reopening of Chicago’s Belmont El Station officially happens with the New Year. Besides the new elevator and extended platforms, the entrance and lobby will don the mosaics of local artist David Lee Csicsko.
Csicsko has long been connected to the Belmont El Station he points out ,it’s the el station he is most familiar with because he lives in the neighborhood; The nightclub Berlin across the street has a sign over its entry that Csicsko designed 25 years ago and in 2000 Ann Sather’s restaurant commissioned twelve portraits to overlook east and westbound Belmont Ave from the train trestle.
The renovation comes because of a major CTA project to add capacity to the brown and redline platforms. The new works are made of colorful tiles to reflect the vibrancy of the Lakeview community who pass by. All the images created are inspired by friends Csicsko shares; all except the one he calls the “Goddess of Belmont” who looks over all the commuters as they pass by on there way to and from.
Csicsko’s art is of the neighborhood and a permanent reminder of the time. So as you pass by day or night, slow down look the goddess of Belmont in the eye and acknowledge your place in Chicago.