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Broad Street Station: 1900

Philadelphia circa 1900. "Broad Street Station of the Pennsylvania R.R." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Philadelphia circa 1900. "Broad Street Station of the Pennsylvania R.R." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Cathedral of Commerce

It amazes me how much this looks like a medieval cathedral!

I have to ask

The building from which the photo was taken has some of the most unbelievable statues and stonework imaginable, is this building still standing? if not, were any of the adornments saved?


I love the details on these buildings! I found the togaed Thinker (a la Rodin) on the building on the right. Does anyone want to go with me and count all the cool stuff on these buildings?

Thing hanging out window

Now you are making me feel really old, while taking drafting in the late 50s we had to develop blueprints this way, only we had to go outside and stand in the hot Saskatchewan sun.

"SANGWITCHES!! Get your Sangwitches here!!!"

Back in the days when the Broad Street station functioned as a regular station stop on the old Pennsylvania RR through trains, an enterprising fellow would ride the trains back and forth between the Market Street and North Philadelphia station stops, hustling sandwiches as he raced through the cars. I can still hear him now. I miss his call as much as I miss the sight of the old "Chinese Wall" RR right of way that bisected the city until the 1950s.

A small detail to the right

As a newcomer, I have just started viewing the images on Shorpy.

I'm amazed at the clarity and detail of these photographs. So much is not noticed until viewed in hi-res.

I had missed the "thing hanging out the window" and had to go back and look again.

Another detail that presented itself upon expanding the pic was the figure on the roof peak on the near building to the right. (about 3/4 the way up the photo) He looks as though he's on break and will soon be performing some maintenance deed requiring skill and agility. His boots and hat being necessary to the task.

Thanks for all the photos.

Walled In

Under the train shed to the left you can see the beginning of the infamous "Chinese Wall"--the stone viaduct that carried the tracks out of terminal to the Schuylkill River. I suppose it was named for the Great Wall of China, even though it (and much of the station) was designed by Frank Furness.

Too slow!

and verbose.

[Hm? - Dave]

Printing Frame

A piece of glass holds the original and the sensitive paper tightly together, and allows sunlight to pass. The Division Engineer's office is probably on that floor.

The alternative would have been an arc lamp, and if they only wanted to make one it might have been too cumbersome to set it up. No halogens, Xenon arcs, or UV fluorescents in those days. Besides, sunlight doesn't require sending money to the electric company.

Thing hanging out the window

was more likely a blue-line (blueprint) copier. Outdoor exposure was the only way to go back then. Love your site!

[That explains it. You've solved a mystery from another post showing similar panels on the roof of a surveyor's office. - Dave]

Another hometown shot

I love this, a shot from my hometown of Philly. This is a view from the upper floors of City Hall (all those statues are a dead giveaway), looking west down Market Street, I believe. Broad Street Station was actually at the corner of 15th & Market, as City Hall itself stands at the intersection of Broad and Market.

But what is that thing, hanging out the 5th floor window, at the rear of the building, next to what must have been the train shed?

[A solar collector for hot water? (Well, no. Scroll up for the answer.) - Dave]

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