The Philadelphia Series concludes this week – but since I’ll definitely be back in the city of brotherly love, mes amies can expect future installments. Likewise, if anyone has advice for visiting Philly we’d love to hear in the comments below!
For now, we’ll part ways in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.
I’ve always adored train stations, and Philadelphia’s grand terminal is no exception. I like the mix of old and new that you find in modern stations. Outfitted with digital boards, escalators and current advertisements, but if you look past the 21st Century you can see the Taxicab sign that has been there for decades, and the smooth, worn curve of a wooden handrail.
In Philadelphia most travelers pass through the main concourse. Walking through the grand, ballroom-like hall you can feel the anticipation and exhaustion of travelers from the past. Its a sort of timeless place. Take away the iphones and we’re back in the 1930’s.
To one side is the food hall, which has some good options but not much seating in my opinion. You’ll have to take your purchase to the benches in the main concourse, or set up a picnic in the vast and empty North Waiting Room.
On my last trip I had some spare time in 30th Street Station so I wandered into the North Waiting Room. I highly recommend you do the same your next time through. The space is flanked by a large statue installation, but more interesting to me were the panels in each of the four corners detailing the history of 30th Street Station and rail transport in Philadelphia.
There are six panels in each corner, and I can attest that each shares a different part of the story. So if you’ve got some time, I suggest enjoying some relative-quiet, away from the hustle, absorbing more of this hub’s unique place in transportation history.
No word on where that boarded-up door used to lead to, but I’m envisioning a “Station 9 3/4” type scenario. Let me know if you are able to pass through it to a magical place!
More from this series: