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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Rail-Rover Crossing: 1905

Rail-Rover Crossing: 1905

Philadelphia circa 1905. "Broad Street Station of the Pennsylvania R.R." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Street Lights

Sure got a lot of globes on those street lights. I wonder if any were saved.

Two Different Architecture Firms, Actually ...

The original portion of the Broad Street Station, at the far right hand corner in this image, was designed in the Victorian Gothic style by the Wilson Brothers of Philadelphia and completed in 1881. The newer portion, which is front and center, was designed by the great maverick architect of Philadelphia, Frank Furness, and built 1892-1893. By the way, neither firm designed the late, great Pennsylvania Station in New York; that monumental piece of Beaux-Arts Classicism was designed by McKim, Mead and White of New York City, with Charles F. McKim in charge of the design.

When did it burn?

The station was demolished (not burned) in 1953 but the train shed (visible at the left of the photograph) had a disastrous fire in 1923. This website has some photographs including an image after the carnage was cleared away and the platforms covered in wood and restored to service as soon as possible.

RE: More Marvelous Architecture

The building on the right is Philadelphia City Hall, and you are correct to praise it!

Location, Location, Location

Building on the right is Philadelphia's City Hall. View is looking north and west from the mid-block (top of a building?) west of Broad Street and north of Chestnut.

Trains would enter and leave the station from the left (west) and travel to the main line tracks on the other side of the Schuylkill river, roughly where 30th Street Station is today, and the continue north, south or west.

The problem with the station was that it was essentially a terminal on stub line and trains had to turn to leave the station or be turned in West Philadelphia, which made through service inconvenient.

PRR replaced the commuter service with the nearby Suburban Station and inter-city service was moved to 30th Street, and the station became unnecessary and was demolished. The site became a number of large office buildings and open plazas where, e.g., the LOVE sculpture now is.

The balcony

I was wondering if the deck area above the sidewalk was used as one. While looking for an access point I found two men walking back through different window-doors. So yes it was.

Any ideas of what they might be selling from the cart across the street?

More Marvelous Architecture

The building on the extreme right edge isn't all that shabby, either. Anyone know what is is/was?

Of Course, it HAD to be Demolished

Such an magnificent piece of architecture. Look at the sculpted stone details! Nearly every surface is embellished.

This was constructed when Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) stock was an absolute "blue chip" that brokers could recommend to widows and orphans. (That's an old expression for a "low-risk" stock.)

This is the same firm which constructed the magnificent Pennsylvania Station in New York city, also demolished!

On that occasion, the NY Times editorialized that "Our civilization will not be known for the monuments it has constructed, but for those it has destroyed."

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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