Like all of the stops along the Spadina line, Lawrence West challenges us to break free of that mental fog.
|The Brutalist backside of Lawrence West: monument to concrete|
|The north side: a markedly different demeanour|
Designed by Dunlop Farrow Aitken, Lawrence West finds structural definition through its relationship with the Allen expressway: it both spans and runs parallel to this heavily-travelled asphalt artery.
Within, the station’s refined interior provokes and stimulates.
|The inscrutable trio of circular vents at the platform north end|
|The tiled floor and unique benches of the platform |
contrast with the sand-blasted concrete walls
|Vivid orange framing casts a warm glow |
into the upper hall and bus waiting area
Claude Breeze’s gigantic 300 foot ceramic mural, Spacing... Aerial Highways stretches atop the station’s north face, both inside and out. I have no idea what message this evocative work is supposed to convey. But perhaps that’s the point.
|Interior hall view of Spacing... Aerial Highways|
I felt obligated to return to Lawrence West for a second visit, to ride the station’s freshly-minted elevator. Installing the device was an eight year fiasco that proved emblematic of TTC project mismanagement (to Andy Byford’s credit, upon assuming the helm of the Commission, he recognized the situation was unacceptable, and explicitly listed the elevator’s completion as a critical milestone for his new tenure).
|Lawrence West got shafted—finally.|
One other egregious feature necessitates mention: the ‘secret’ cutout window at the Lawrence Ave. north-side entrance. Standing at this portal, patient watchers can observe raptly and feel the vibration, as trains emerge directly beneath, metal leviathans snaking their way to freedom.
|The window at the north side entrance: a spectacular portal for rail fans|
Lawrence West opened to the public January 28, 1978 as part of the Spadina Rapid Transit extension to the subway.
Photo GalleryTour the station, and view captioned historical images from its past:
|Lawrence West station transfer|
More about Lawrence WestTTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: Lawrence West
My next stop: Wellesley
Previous station: Kennedy
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