30th Street Station
|Philadelphia–30th Street Station
SEPTA Regional Rail commuter station
New Jersey Transit commuter rail station
The station in 2007.
|Address||2955 Market Street
|Line(s)||Amtrak: SEPTA Regional Rail: New Jersey Transit:|
Subway–Surface Trolleys All RoutesSEPTA City Bus: 9, 12, 21, 30, 31, 42, 44, 62, 121, LUCY
SEPTA Suburban Bus: 124, 125
Megabus: M21, M23, M29, M30, M31, M32, M34
|Platforms||3 island platforms (upper level), 6 lower level|
|Tracks||6 (upper level), 9 (lower level)|
|Baggage check||Available for Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional 66, 67, Palmetto, Silver Meteor and Silver Star services|
|Fare zone||C (SEPTA)|
|Passengers (2012)||580 (Average weekday) (NJT)|
|Passengers (2013)||4.126 million (Annually) 1.4% (Amtrak)|
|Passengers (2013)||16,662 (Average weekday) (SEPTA)|
Thirtieth Street Station
|Location||W. River Dr., Market, 30th, and Arch Sts.
|Architect||Graham, Anderson, Probst & White|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|Governing body||Department of Transportation|
|NRHP Reference #||78002456|
|Added to NRHP||June 7, 1978|
The 30th Street Station is the main railroad station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the seven stations in SEPTA's Center City fare zone. It is also a major stop on Amtrak's Northeast and Keystone Corridors. In fiscal 2010, 3,787,331 Amtrak passengers used 30th Street, making it Amtrak's 3rd-busiest station.
The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), which was headquartered in Philadelphia, acquired tunnel rights from the Schuylkill River to 15th Street from the city of Philadelphia in return for land that the city needed to construct the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This allowed the company to build both Suburban Station and the 30th Street Station, which replaced Broad Street Station as the latter was too small. Broad St. Station was a stub-end terminal in Center City and through trains had to back in and out, and the company wanted a location which would accommodate trains between New York City and Washington. D.C. Broad St. Station also handled a large commuter operation, which the new underground Suburban Station was built to handle. (Because of the Depression and World War II, Broad St. Station didn't close until 1952.)
The Chicago architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, the successor to D.H. Burnham & Company, designed the structure, originally known as Pennsylvania Station–30th Street in accord with the naming style of other Pennsylvania Stations. Its design was influenced by the Northeast Corridor electrification that allowed trains to pass beneath the station without exposing passengers to soot as steam engines of earlier times had. The station had a number of innovative features, including a pneumatic tube system, an electronic intercom, and a reinforced roof with space for small aircraft to land, and contained a mortuary, a chapel and more than 3,000 square feet of hospital space.
Construction began in 1927 and the station opened in 1933, starting with two platform tracks. The vast waiting room is faced with marble and the coffered ceiling is painted gold, red and cream. The building's exterior has columned porte-cocheres on the west and east facade, and shows a balance between classical and modern architectural styles.
"Ben Franklin Station"
On December 25, 2005 The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trust had asked Amtrak to change the name of 30th Street Station to "Ben Franklin Station". The change would have coincided with the celebration of Ben Franklin's 300th birthday in January 2006. The cost of replacing signage at the train station was estimated at $3 million.
On January 13 the Inquirer reported that Philadelphia Mayor John Street, who initially said he was unaware of the request, had thrown his support behind the name change. Philadelphians had mixed reactions to the proposal, according to the Inquirer stories. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a former mayor of Philadelphia, was lukewarm, and Amtrak officials worried that a "Ben" station could be confused with its other three "Penn" stations. Pew and Amtrak officials said that conversations were continuing, but the newspaper quoted Philadelphia charity manager H. F. Lenfest as saying that Pew had abandoned its proposal. On January 25, 2006 Pew announced that it was abandoning its campaign, giving no reason.
The building is owned by Amtrak and houses many Amtrak corporate offices, although Amtrak is officially headquartered in Washington, D.C. The 562,000 ft² (52,000 m²) facility features a cavernous main passenger concourse with ornate Art Deco decor.
Prominently displayed is the Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial, which honors Pennsylvania Railroad employees killed in World War II. It consists of a bronze statue of the archangel Michael lifting the body of a dead soldier out of the flames of war, and was sculpted by Walker Hancock in 1950. On the four sides of the base of that sculpture are the 1,307 names of those employees in alphabetical order.
The building was restored in 1991 by Dan Peter Kopple & Associates. When the station was renovated, updated retail amenities were added. They include several shops, a large food court, car rental facilities, Saxbys Coffee, Dunkin' Donuts, and others.
The Amtrak 30th Street Parking Garage was designed by BLT Architects and completed in 2004. This nine-level, double helix garage provides 2,100 parking spaces and glass enclosed stair tower and elevator to offer views of Philadelphia. The following year (2005) the Arch Street Pedestrian Bridge was completed and designed with contribution from BLT Architects. The Arch Street Pedestrian Bridge provides direct access for pedestrians from 30th Street Station to the parking garage and Cira Centre; this prevents pedestrians from interacting with heavy traffic from PA 3 and I-76.
The station is one of the busiest intercity passenger railroad facilities in the United States. The station also has extensive local and regional passenger volume; it is one of SEPTA's three primary regional rail hubs. It is within walking distance of various attractions in West Philadelphia, notably the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and the University City Science Center, all in University City.
Many important highways and streets pass next to or near the station. Vehicles and taxicabs can easily access the station from various major routes, including Market Street (PA 3), Interstate 76 (more commonly known as the Schuylkill Expressway in the Philadelphia area), and Interstate 676 (more commonly known as the Vine Street Expressway in the city of Philadelphia). The John F. Kennedy Boulevard Bridge is just east of the station.
Trains from SEPTA, Amtrak, and New Jersey Transit serve the station. The three east-west Upper Level platforms serve SEPTA Regional Rail suburban trains. The north-south Lower Level platforms serve Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains.
SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line (also known as the "El") and all of SEPTA's Subway-Surface Lines stop at the 30th Street subway station, less than 1/2 block (< 1/10 mile) from the southwest entrance to 30th Street Station. A tunnel connecting the underground subway station and 30th Street Station was closed due to crime and vagrancy concerns.
A number of the SEPTA system's bus lines include stops at the station on their routes.
Cira Centre, a 28-story glass-and-steel office tower opened in October 2005, is across Arch Street to the north and is connected by a skyway at the station's mezzanine level next to the upper-level SEPTA Regional Rail platforms. The tower is owned by Philadelphia-based Brandywine Realty Trust, was designed by architect César Pelli and BLT Architects, and sits on land leased from Amtrak. César Pelli is best known for the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Amtrak maintenance facilities
Amtrak owns and operates the Penn Coach Yard and Race Street Engine House equipment repair and maintenance facility at 30th Street.
The station is home to one of four ClubAcelas in the Amtrak System for First Class Acela Passengers. Passengers that can enter the facility include Amtrak Guest Rewards members with a ClubAcela pass, Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus and Select Executive members, Acela Express First Class Passengers, Sleeping Car Passengers on overnight trains, and United Airlines United Club members.
Rental cars and car sharing
Zipcar and PhillyCarShare vehicles are located outside 30th Street Station. Most of these vehicles are parked in reserved parking spaces located on the south side of the station building. Due to ongoing construction along the south side of the station, these cars have been moved to the controlled access parking lot outside of Cira Centre.
In popular culture
- "QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS". New Jersey Transit. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- SEPTA 2012 Annual Service Plan
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- Teitelman, Edward & Longstreth, Richard W. (1981). Architecture in Philadelphia: A Guide. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 0262700212., p.186
- Gallery, John Andrew (ed.) (2004). Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Foundation for Architecture. ISBN 0962290815., p.106
- Kyriakodis, Harry. "The Subways, Railways and Stations of Philly: Written Material to Accompany a Mostly-Underground Tour from 30th Street Station to Market East Station". The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society. February 9, 2007 .
- Dunson, Edward. "30th Street Station" National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination Form February 3, 1978.
- Saffron, Inga (2005-12-25). "Proposal calls for Ben Station: Renaming the 30th St. depot to honor Franklin is on the table". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2005-12-28.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer – Family Entertainment Guide
Media related to 30th Street Station at Wikimedia Commons
- NJT rail station information page for 30th Street Station
- DepartureVision real time train information for 30th Street Station
- Atlantic City Line schedule
- Graham, Anderson, Probst & White Homepage – see "Historical Architectural Projects" pages
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) documentation:
- Aerial perspective photo link
- Station Building from 30th Street from Google Maps Street View
- Station Building from Market Street from Google Maps Street View
- Upper Level (SEPTA) platforms from Google Maps Street View