Architecture

A Capone’s Vault on the Viaduct

February 10, 2012 | by Peter Woodall

 

For years I’ve been wondering if there’s anything left inside the modest Spring Garden Street train station on the Reading Viaduct. Few people have gotten a look at the building’s interior since it was sealed up with cinder blocks decades ago, not even the caretaker hired by the property owner, Reading International. So when a friend who is a lot more nimble than I am managed to climb onto the small roof that hangs over the station’s platform, I happily handed him my camera. He stuck it through a small window that had lost its glass long ago and took a few shots, which upon inspection quickly dashed any hopes that the station might have miraculously been preserved all these years. So little remains, in fact, that it’s impossible to even imagine what it once looked like. At the risk of repeating Geraldo Rivera’s anticlimactic opening of Capone’s Vault, we’re posting these photos anyway, just in case you are as curious as we were.


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About the Author

Peter Woodall Peter Woodall is the Project Director of Hidden City Philadelphia. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and a former newspaper reporter with the Biloxi Sun Herald and the Sacramento Bee. He worked as a producer for Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and wrote a column about neighborhood bars for PhiladelphiaWeekly.com.

7 Comments:

  1. Michael Penn says:

    That’s a shame.

  2. Ethan Wallace says:

    Honestly, this is about what I expected to find in there. But I am really glad to know for sure because there was NO way I was climbing up to that opening.

  3. Mark Kobasz says:

    Not to be simple…but I love the hidden city site! Thanks for sharing so much wonderful visual historical and important information!

  4. Joel says:

    The building would make a great bicycle and handicap accessible entrance to the future park atop the old train line.

  5. Helen S says:

    I drive past that building every day and always wondered what it was. Thanks for posting this…now I know!

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