Architecture

Furness’s Mt. Airy Station

December 1, 2011 | by Mike Szilagyi
Mt Airy train station

Photo: Mike Szilagyi

On Sunday, neighbors of the Mt. Airy train station, at Gowen Avenue and Devon Street, turned out as they do every year to decorate the station. The building was designed by Frank Furness in 1882, the same year his Undine boathouse opened on Boat House Row.

The station houses a SEPTA ticket office and waiting room, as well as the 80,000 book inventory of Walk a Crooked Mile Books. The used book store, an integral part of the neighborhood for fifteen years, will host an open house this Friday night December 2. Greg Williams, the bookstore’s owner, tells us, “we’ll have a fire outside, the makings for s’mores, other food and drink, a chance to shop both outside and inside until 9 p.m. and live music by one of our favorite singer songwriters, Sharon Abbott.”


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About the Author

Mike Szilagyi Mike Szilagyi was born in the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia, and raised in both Logan and what was the far edge of suburbia near Valley Forge. He found himself deeply intrigued by both the built landscape and by the natural “lay of the land.” Where things really get interesting is the fluid, intricate, multi-layered interface between the two.

5 Comments:

  1. Paul vanMeter says:

    Franklin Gowen hired Furness for the P&R and personally. He lived nearby and this was his station. It shows. Though, the Gowen in Gowen Avenue was his father, James.

  2. Bob Beaty says:

    Thanks, Mike – great information

  3. Sue Robinson says:

    In 1897 my great grandfather ,George C Bushnell ,was appointed ticket agent Mt Airy station PA. His wife Virginia Kerlin Bushnell, son James, daughter Helen, mother in law Anna Goodwin Kerlin lived with him. We believe they lived in the station. If you have additional information please send to suedrob@yahoo.com We would love pictures also.

    1. Sue Robinson says:

      Helen Kerlin Bushnell became a teacher at Mt Airy school. She married I. Marsden Lawley a history teacher in the Philadelphia school system.They had three children Marsden, Virginia and Mary Marsden Lawley. My mother Mary married Coast Guard Academy graduate James H. Durfee both of Drexel Hill. They just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.
      George and Virginia Bushnell are buried in Penn Cemetary with their son James.

  4. Sue Robinson says:

    We are trying to find information about George Bushnell’s parents. What were their names and where were they born? Was George’s father in the railroad business?

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