The Vautravers Building at 947 W Newport Avenue in Lake View has undergone additional work since it was lifted and moved last year. The historic three-story edifice was shifted west by 30 feet to accommodate the new tracks for the Red-Purple Modernization (RPM) project. At 1,000 tons, the structure was prepared by using a system of jacks and bracing which were staged beneath the building, with ongoing, along with the installation of new copper paneling along the exterior.
The Walsh-Fluor partnership, made up of Walsh Construction and Fluor Corporation, has overseen the efforts to modernize the CTA stretch. Extending north from Belmont station, the work includes a new elevated Brown Line bypass and straightening of the Red and Purple Line tracks. The straightening of these tracks required the space previously occupied by the Vautravers Building. At 127 years old, the building is the only one of 16 across three separate blocks to be preserved rather than demolished.
The ongoing modernization surrounding the site is expected to result in 60 percent faster travel times at the juncture of the Red, Purple, and Brown Lines. By accommodating an additional 7,200 passengers per hour, the CTA expects that half a million travel hours per year will be saved.
The CTA’s $2.1 billion RPM Phase One consists of three components. The first is the Red-Purple bypass, which required a new elevated Brown Line track to maximize efficiency, as well as the straightening of the existing tracks. The second is the Lawrence-Bryn Mawr Modernization, which involves rebuilding four stations – Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, Bryn Mawr – and the tracks in between them. Third is additional corridor signal improvement along the existing 23 miles of track. As a whole, these three parts are expected to complete by 2025.
Logistics for the move were handled by Walsh-Flour’s partner, Wolfe House and Building Movers, while Stantec Consulting Services and EXP Services Inc provided design consulting services.
As for the Vautravers Building, the work so far has not included a build-out of the six interior units. This additional undertaking will be greenlit once a separate permit is approved.