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Conceptualized and designed by the architectural firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and constructed for five years from 1929 to 1934, the 30th Street Station remains Philadelphia?s primary and by far the most popular railway station. However, the 30th Street Station has transcended the practical and has evolved into an iconic metropolitan landmark, just like the other grand railway stations such as the Grand Central in New York City.

The creation of the 30th Street Station was prompted by the skyrocketing number of train commuters which crowded the 1881 Broad Street Station which served as the main train shed terminal located at the heart of Philadelphia. The station?s capacity was nowhere near this exponentially increasing number of train passengers so the Pennsylvania Railroad company decided to make a new and much bigger station that is outside the borders of the central Philadelphia metropolis. Pennsylvania Railroad was able to seal a deal with the city government which gave them tunnel rights spanning from 15th street up to the Schuykill River. In return, Philadelphia was bestowed land that was required for the building of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Pennsylvania Railroad was able to build two railroad stations from the agreement: the Suburban Station found in the metropolitan center and the 30th Street Station situated on the west bank of the Schuykill River.

30th Street Station was built during the Great Depression, but nevertheless, it emerged as one of the most breathtaking railway stations in the United States. It occupies a total area of 19,400 square meters with a cavernous main concourse with a total area of 3,608 square meters. This lobby?s design is nothing short of majestic. It boasts of a high coffered ceiling beautifully embellished with art deco lighting fixtures. Outside, 30th Street Station?s exterior is prevalently made of columns. Generally, the station?s design is neo-classical but touches of modernity were seamlessly incorporated into its design.

30th Street Station previously housed a landing pad for small aircrafts, a chapel, a hospital and a mortuary when it was inaugurated in 1934.
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