Medford/Tufts Station Opens Multi-Billion Dollar Green Line Extension Infrastructure Project
DHK Architects Designer for the Station
Decades of DHK Architects Inc.’s involvement in the design and planning for the MBTA Green Line extension came to fruition before dawn on a cold December morning when the new Medford/Tufts Station opened. Despite the frigid temperatures and the 4:30 a.m. hour, hundreds of passengers clamored to jump on the first train out of the Station. Medford/Tufts, now the last stop on the Line, was one of the seven new stations constructed in this $2.3‐billion Green Line extension infrastructure contract.
DHK’s participation in various planning iterations for the Green Line’s expansion goes back to the 1990’s when the firm was on different teams working with the MBTA. Due to rising costs, political issues and a lawsuit filed against the State, the MBTA started and stopped these efforts several times. Finally with federal funding secured, the project moved forward, and in 2015 DHK became part of the GLX Constructors (GLXC) team which was awarded the contract in 2016 to design and build the extension. Working under STV Incorporated, the lead designers of GLXC, DHK was responsible for designing the Medford/Tufts Station.
Of all the new station sites, the College Avenue site, which is immediately adjacent to the Tufts Campus, was perhaps one of the most challenging. A dramatic change in grade elevation from track level to street level of approximately 25 feet resulted in the creation of a massive retaining wall that forms the backdrop to the station.
DHK’s design response to this challenge was to create two vertical circulation elements bracketing the platform at each end. Twin glass‐enclosed elevator towers at the headhouse create an iconic feature, and at night the entire structure functions as a luminous beacon. At the other end of the platform, an accessible pedestrian ramp is itself a glowing serpentine, zigzagging between the platform and the street level.
The multilevel station headhouse was designed to include two fully accessible restrooms, an operator’s lounge, janitor’s closet and spaces required for transit operations, such as electrical, mechanical and communications rooms, as well as an automated fare collection room and a multi‐level emergency egress tower. The covered street level plaza through which passengers can enter and exit station includes the ticket vending area, a bicycle storage cage, and access to the elevators and stairs. The train platform below is sheltered by and adorned with a 225 foot gullwing canopy.
After nearly seven years of work, the December 12th, 2022 station opening and ribbon‐cutting was celebrated and led by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, U.S. Representative Katherine Clark, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Acting Secretary of Transportation, Jamey L. Tesler, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo‐Koehn, Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, and dozens of other state and local officials, Tufts University President Anthony P. Monaco and other Tufts officials as well as community members from Somerville, Medford, and the Tufts campus.
Governor Baker and other officials lauded former U.S. Representative Michael Capuano and his critical role in delivering billions of dollars in federal funding making the extension possible.
By 2030 total ridership on the Green Line Extension is expected to reach 45,000‐50,000 one‐way trips per day.