CTA moving historic Lake View building for track improvements

An historic building in the Lake View neighborhood is standing in the way of faster train service but not for long.

The Chicago Transit Authority is moving the 127-year-old Vautravers building on Newport Avenue to the west by 30 feet and to the south by 4 feet, according to Lauren LaSalle of Walsh Construction.

It’s all part of the Red and Purple Modernization Project (RPM).

The CTA says the plan involves completely reconstructing and straightening century-old Red and Purple Line track structures north of the Belmont station.


By moving the historic building, the CTA can remove a curve in the tracks to make the ride faster and smoother.

Stephanie Cavazos with RPM Communications said this is no ordinary project.

"So this is the first time that the CTA is going to move a physical building out of the way so that we can build new track structures," Cavazos said. "The building is a historic landmark. And at the CTA one of our priorities is to preserve as much of Chicago history as we can as we modernize tracks as well as our trains."

On Monday, workers at the site were preparing for a test-run in which they planned to move the building just a few feet.

LaSalle said the move will be complete sometime Tuesday.

"When I joined … the RPM project, I said ‘the one thing I do want to  do is move that building,’" LaSalle said. "The front façade is super important that’s the historic nature of the building."

The CTA says train service will not be impacted by the move.

RPM plans to stream part of this move on Facebook Liva. 

It will be complete by tomorrow. If you want to take a peek, go to the CTA/RPM Facebook page.