Sun rising above the Rogers Park lakefront.
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Sun rising above the Rogers Park lakefront.

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Does Loyola pay to have its name on a CTA station?

It’s a common question I hear on train rides, passing the Loyola CTA Red Line station. Sometimes it’s asked by Loyola students new to Chicago. Other times, it’s asked with an air of bitter contempt, by people who detest the recent land purchases and construction projects that Loyola University Chicago has slated for Rogers Park and Edgewater Beach—and yes, there’s more land grabs and development planned in the coming years.

You’ve probably asked the question, too. “Does Loyola pay to have its name on a CTA station?” The answer is, “No.” That’s because the station is not named for the university.

Like most CTA stations in Chicago, ‘L’ stops are named after the streets they straddle. In this case, Loyola ‘L’ station is named after Loyola Avenue.

Loyola ‘L’ station from October 20, 1925. From a historic collection of JJ Sedelmeier.

In the late 1800s, Loyola Avenue was called Hayes Avenue. The street’s name was changed in 1910 to honor the founder of the Society of Jesus, the Basque solider Ignatius of Loyola, whose religious brothers and priests lived in the area. A largely Catholic community, neighbors joined the brothers and priests in worship at St. Ignatius Church,¬†founded in 1906.

Established in 1870 as St. Ignatius College, Loyola University Chicago started moving to Rogers Park in 1912, from its original home near the University of Illinois-Chicago.

The original Hayes Avenue station, at the same site, was a street-level platform and wooden house. As shown in this 1910 photo, the station served three-car trains of the Northwestern Line. Without a third rail, trains were powered with trolley wires above. From a historic collection of JJ Sedelmeier.

Fast forward to May 2012, the CTA will begin rehabilitation of the station’s platform and house interior. Loyola University Chicago is donating land and money to construct an open public plaza entrance. The Red and Purple Modernization project, a more permanent reconstruction of Chicago’s ‘L’ railway and stations, includes other improvements to make Loyola a Loop Express transfer station.

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Alderman Moore endorses zoning, license for new Loyola-owned apartments on Albion

It’s often joked about that the official bird of the City of Chicago is the crane. Look up and you’ll see more and more in the skies over the Far North Side. Construction cranes are being erected in various spots of Rogers Park and Edgewater as Loyola University Chicago continues new phases for its master-planned community—which now seems to have been removed from the LUC.edu website.

Illustration of new building to be constructed by Loyola University Chicago at 1217-39 W. Albion in Rogers Park.

A new development next to the Loyola CTA Red Line Station—where Loyola is constructing a new public plaza—will feature a 29-unit residential apartment building. It will sit adjacent to a new surface parking lot with 59 parking spaces, 29 of which will belong to property renters. Because the lot will have parking spaces for the public, Loyola came before the city for a necessary zoning change. They will require a special use permit to operate such a parking lot.

After a public meeting hosted by Alderman Joe Moore, the 49th Ward Boss has decided to support the zoning change and special use permit.

Google Map location, pinpointed at marker A, of Loyola University Chicago’s new residential apartment building at 1217-39 W. Albion.

Moore said that many he encountered support the project, “Most stated the belief that the proposed development would be an improvement over the current underutilized parking lot.”

The apartment building will not serve as dormitory housing but will be a residential apartment building, like many other buildings in the neighborhood. The only difference is that it would be owned and operated by the Jesuit university.

Moore explained, “Some community residents expressed concern that the development would become a de facto student dormitory, but Loyola assured the residents that it would own and manage the apartments and would limit the number of occupants in each rental unit.”

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