SEPTA’s Rehabbed Bus Loop At 33rd & Dauphin: Ahead Of Schedule, Under Budget, Ready For Action

 

Lean & green: SEPTA's new bus loop at 33rd & Dauphin | Photo: Bradley Maule

Lean & green: SEPTA’s new bus loop at 33rd & Dauphin | Photo: Bradley Maule

SEPTA formally marked the completion of its reconstructed bus loop at 33rd and Dauphin Streets yesterday. A ceremony at the Strawberry Mansion facility, adjacent to Fairmount Park, was attended by local elected officials and community leaders to commemorate the partnerships that enabled the project’s fruition.

The $4 million project has resulted in the complete rebuilding of the 110-year-old trolley barn—situated at an intersection through which five bus lines transport over 2,000 riders per day—using recycled brick and mortar. Defining architectural features like the cherubs were re-incorporated and the decorative cornice trim was repainted. The modernized facility has three wider lanes to accommodate buses, instead of the four once intended for trolleys, and is fully ADA-compliant.

According to SEPTA, the project was completed under budget and ahead of schedule. The leftover funds will be used to renovate two other bus loops in North Philadelphia next year.

Neighborhood leaders expressed their excitement for the project’s completion and thanked SEPTA for staying true to their historically faithful design.

“It looks as close to the original as possible,” said Tonnetta Graham, president of Strawberry Mansion CDC, who also remarked on the many compliments that the project has generated: “People were walking up and saying, ‘This is wonderful! How did you do this?’”

The aging barn had been marked for demolition, but neighborhood preservationists rallied to raise awareness of the landmark status that the structure holds. Further research by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia revealed the barn to be one of the oldest such structures remaining in the city, built in 1901.

“The partnership between SEPTA and the community was key to this process,” SEPTA general manager Joseph M. Casey said in a press release. “SEPTA is proud of the loop’s transformation into a state-of-the-art transit hub that can serve as a centerpiece for neighborhood revitalization, while also providing customers with the modern amenities they deserve.”

"Arches of Resurgence" | Photo: Bradley Maule

“Arches of Resurgence” | Photo: Bradley Maule

Among the new amenities are a bus canopy, passenger shelters, benches, bike racks, and a retail space for the main facility. Also new to the neighborhood is “Arches of Resurgence,” an installation by British-born artist Michael Morgan, signifying passage and renewal.

In attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony was U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah, whom SEPTA credits for his role in securing a grant from the Federal Transit Administration to make the reconstruction work.

“With a focus on livability and preservation, this project reflects the ongoing economic revitalization efforts in the area and maintains the legacy of this historic facility,” Fattah said in a statement.

Graham also acknowledged the Preservation Alliance and City Council president Darrell Clarke for their advocacy efforts, and praised the eco-friendly features included in the redesign. The bus loop includes a “green roof” with plant modules to reduce storm water run-off, as well as a new storm-water management system to optimize drainage.

“We hope that this will serve as an example for how other communities can utilize partnerships to restore landmarks in their neighborhoods,” Graham said.

Service within the structure begins on Sunday for bus routes 7, 39, and 54. It also indirectly serves routes 32 and 61, which run along adjacent 33rd Street and Ridge Avenue, respectively.

About the author

Christopher Mote covers stories of preservation, planning, zoning and development. He lives in South Philadelphia and has a special fondness for brownstone churches and mansard roofs.

Send him a message at: motecw[at]hotmail[dot]com



Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts
From <em>Click</em> To Clink: A History Of Mug Shots In The Quaker City

From Click To Clink: A History Of Mug Shots In The Quaker City

September 20, 2018  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. gives us the backstory of Philadelphia's Rogues' Gallery, which has been tracking criminals in photographic form since the 1860s > more

Unlisted Philadelphia: Automobile Row

Unlisted Philadelphia: Automobile Row

September 18, 2018  |  Unlisted Philadelphia

Ben Leech spotlights unique and significant buildings not listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places with his architectural illustration series, Unlisted Philadelphia. In this installment, he puts the pedal to the metal on Automobile Row > more

Abandoned Navy Hangar Prepares For Final Battle

Abandoned Navy Hangar Prepares For Final Battle

September 14, 2018  |  Last Light

A demolition study for the Mustin Field Seaplane Hangar at the Navy Yard puts a structural engineering landmark on notice. Michael Bixler takes us inside > more

Twitter Bot Reveals Revenue Loss From Tax Abatement

Twitter Bot Reveals Revenue Loss From Tax Abatement

September 13, 2018  |  News

Starr Herr-Cardillo catches up with the software engineer behind Philly Tax Abatements, a new Twitter account that aggregates the cost of City money lost to the 10-year tax abatement > more

Harvey Finkle: Photographer Seeks Justice For The Other

Harvey Finkle: Photographer Seeks Justice For The Other

September 10, 2018  |  Walk the Walk

New photography exhibition explores South Philly's Jewish communities and the city's transitioning immigrant populations. Joe Brin has the story > more

New Book Gives Insight Into Uncovering Philly History

New Book Gives Insight Into Uncovering Philly History

September 6, 2018  |  Vantage

Mickey Herr sits down with author and Philly historian extraordinaire Kenneth Finkel to discuss his new book, "Insight Philadelphia" > more