August 21, 2015
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GCRTA Opens Little Italy-University Circle Station

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) opened its first new Red Line rail station in 46 years, Little Italy-­University Circle Station, at recent ribbon-cutting ­ceremonies.

“The impact of this new rail station on the neighborhood has been large, positive and immediate. Located in the heart of Little Italy, the station significantly alleviated a long-term major parking issue,” said RTA Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Joe Calabrese. He noted that because the new station is open, the neighborhood is now accessible to more people and to people who don’t want to drive.

The $17.5 million station replaces an old, functionally obsolete facility about 0.3 miles away. It is within walking distance of residential areas, merchants and restaurants in a historic neighborhood that also includes the Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance Hall (home of the Cleveland Orchestra), Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. Little Italy is also home to the highly popular Feast of the Assumption Festival, which Calabrese said attracts some 100,000 visitors to the neighborhood.

The lobby area of the new station incorporates an old vault underneath two track bridges. The vault dates from the 1920s, when the Van Sweringen brothers, who also built the Terminal Tower and the Shaker Rapid line, designed it as a potential commuter rail station.

Among the station’s amenities are an accessible single-platform headhouse and entrance plaza, a heavy-duty elevator and stairway connecting the street level to the platform and waiting areas and artistic touches such as a leaf-patterned terrazzo floor, chandelier sculpture elements and Italian poetry engraved into the lobby steps.

FTA provided $12.5 million for the project. 

RTA Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Joe Calabrese, back row center, and Valarie J. McCall, second from right, RTA board member and APTA vice chair, join other area officials to cut the ribbon at the Little Italy-University Circle Station.

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