For today’s Epstein Throwback Thursday we take a trip back to December 1986 for the opening of the 190,000 square foot South Division Bus Garage for the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) / PACE Suburban Bus Service in Markham, Illinois. For this facility, located at 2101 West 163rd Place, which services buses that travel in Chicago’s southwestern suburbs, Epstein provided full-service architectural design and engineering services.
The South Division Bus Garage was developed as part of the RTA and PACE’s long-range program to improve bus maintenance and storage facilities in suburban Chicago. This facility housed the equipment needed to maintain RTA/PACE’s suburban bus fleet including fueling stations, service, repair, and painting booths. This garage was one of the first bus maintenance facilities equipped with dynamometers -- instruments that allow for the stationary running of buses for repair and maintenance checks. This garage also had space designated for indoor parking, 15,000 square feet of administrative offices, and employee and operation areas.
This is one of two similar facilities that Epstein designed for the RTA - the other was the 223,000 square foot West Division Bus Garage in Melrose Park, Illinois.
Today, this building is still being utilized by PACE and looks very much like it did back in ’86 although its currently being renovated and converted into a facility capable of serving as a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station.
Lastly, Epstein’s history of providing long-range planning, programming, design and engineering services for transportation agencies continues to this day. Since 2013, Epstein has provided architecture and engineering services for the development of a strategic system-wide master plan to include reconstructed LEED certified structures, site specific master plans, and phased repair plans for the Illinois Tollway’s maintenance facilities. Out of this program, Epstein’s architects and engineers have currently helped the Tollway deliver a new M-1 facility in Alsip, are in the finishing stages of the new M-7 facility in Rockford and in the construction phase of the new M-6 facility in Marengo.