Wayne Junction Renovation To Begin

 

Photo: Rob Lybeck

After years of planning, the $30 million renovation of the Wayne Junction Station is set to begin by year’s end. The project is funded by federal transit grants and bonds.

The project is the core of a long-imagined Transit-Oriented-Development (TOD) meant to revitalize Nicetown and Lower Germantown.

The station, at 4481 Wayne Avenue, is indeed a junction between the Nicetown and Germantown neighborhoods of North Philadelphia and one of the busiest in the SEPTA system, with six Regional Rail lines running through it (though only five stop). Designed by the prolific architect Frank Furness (who also designed the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia) for the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, the station was originally built in 1881 and then rebuilt in 1890. Wilson Bros. & Co., a firm of railroad engineers, gets credit for the much of the present station, which they designed in 1901.

Photo: Peter Woodall

For the first half of the twentieth century, Wayne Junction served as a critical hub for travelers, with connections to New York, Toronto, Washington, St. Louis and Los Angeles, in addition to many local and regional stops. The station was an important anchor for local shops and businesses.

In the 1950s, Wayne Junction was relegated to regional transit. As deindustrialization took its toll over the next several decades, the station became run-down to the point that many residents avoided using it.

The renovation, designed by UCI Architects, will take place in several phases and is projected to be complete by the end of 2015. Although details regarding the phases and schedule are still being finalized, SEPTA Press Officer Andrew Busch reassures us the station will remain open during construction. “The phased approach,” he says, “will minimize the impact of construction to both SEPTA customers and the community.” UCI is also the designer of new EL stations on both the east and west ends of the Market-Frankford Line.

Wayne Jct Waiting Room Oct 13 2011

Photo: Mike Szilagyi

The designers’ goal, according to their website, was to “revitalize the character of the original station while providing SEPTA passengers a universally accessible, safe, and efficient means of transportation. A federally-mandated process set forth by the State Historic Preservation Officer was followed to ensure the historic integrity of this piece of railroad history while introducing sympathetic interventions. Community outreach was an integral component to the development of the design.”

About the author

Katrina Ohstrom has been headquartered in Philadelphia for the past decade. Her documentary projects include post-agricultural rural landscapes, post-industrial urban landscapes, the privatization of public education, experimental electronic music and cat show culture. In addition to Hidden City Daily, Ohstrom’s photos have been spotted in Megawords Magazine and forthcoming in Jacobin Magazine, and on the websites of East Village Radio and Bomb Magazine among others. Occasionally she exhibits in a gallery setting. More of Ohstrom’s documentary work can be found at katrinaohstrom.com and her event work can be found at ohstromphoto.com.



Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Renovations At William Way Look To The Future While Preserving The Past

Renovations At William Way Look To The Future While Preserving The Past

September 16, 2019  |  Architecture, Preservation

Big changes are in the works for William Way Community Center thanks to a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Stacia Friedman has the details > more

Final Plans To Transfer Philadelphia History Museum Collection To Drexel University Unveiled

Final Plans To Transfer Philadelphia History Museum Collection To Drexel University Unveiled

September 12, 2019  |  City Life, History

The Philadelphia History Museum is officially dead. The large collection of beloved city artifacts will be transferred to Drexel University. Kimberly Haas has the news > more

Hidden City Daily Celebrates Eight Years Of Publishing

Hidden City Daily Celebrates Eight Years Of Publishing

September 11, 2019  |  City Life

September marks Hidden City Daily's 8th year of publishing. To toast the occasion we look back at the past 12 months with a curated list of our top 15 stories. > more

Settlement Houses: Doing Good In The Neighborhood

Settlement Houses: Doing Good In The Neighborhood

September 9, 2019  |  History

Stacia Friedman takes a look at Philadelphia's long tradition of providing social welfare and education through settlement houses, some of which still serve communities today > more

Until Death Do Us Part: An Ode To Philadelphia Book Collecting

Until Death Do Us Part: An Ode To Philadelphia Book Collecting

September 6, 2019  |  History

In celebration of National Read A Book Day, Mickey Herr dives deep into the stacks at some of Philadelphia's most historic and obscure libraries > more

Bootleggers & Back Alley Bars: Philadelphia During Prohibition A City

Bootleggers & Back Alley Bars: Philadelphia During Prohibition A City “Soaked In Alcohol”

September 4, 2019  |  History

Speakeasies are all the rage these days. The revival finds its roots in secret cocktail lounges that opened after the 18th Amendment was ratified in 1920. Pennsylvania got a head start and outlawed alcohol in 1919. Amy Cohen takes a look back at Philadelphia during Prohibition on the 100-year anniversary of the ban > more