Then and Now: Revealed

The location of last week's then and now photo is revealed.

Last week's photo was of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station that used to be located on Market Street where the West Chester Railroad Company now runs.

Two users left comments and both guessed correctly. 

User Eric Lewis wrote:

PRR Market St station, torn down in 1968.

Followed by:

Check out those window mount air conditioners. They even have 2 units in one window.

Frequent Then and Now commentor Jim Salvas wrote:

Now there is a sad loss. It looks like the old station was already being allowed to decay when this photo was taken.

Thanks for everyone that read or participated, and please check back in next week for another round of Then and Now.

Catherine Quillman October 03, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Thanks for posting the photo. The demolishment of this formerly beautiful building is on par with the Warner Movie theater. It was a major architectural lost. THe following is from my walking tour. This site has been partly preserved by the West Chester Railroad Heritage Association, an all volunteer, non-profit corporation that operates a tourist railroad here. Despite a major fire in 1885, the former massive rail station, complete with Palladian windows and protective eaves, remained relatively unchanged from 1885 to 1968. Its demolishment in June, 1968 was a major architectural loss to the borough. After the fire in 1885, the local newspaper reported that many improvements were being made to the depot including the installation of new gas lamps and “air” vents as well as galvanized screens in the waiting rooms. Other improvements to the station, which one reporter described as being “fitted up in a grand style,” included steam heat and the addition of a third floor. An inscription was set above the main door that read: West Chester & Philadelphia RR Depot Via Media. The passenger shelter was also equipped with new electric lights in 1886. At its peak in the 1920s, the depot handled about 6,000 passengers a day, but by the time it closed in 1965, ridership had declined to a weekly average of 320 people, mainly because of poor service and poor management of the line, according to historian Jim Jones.
Catherine Quillman October 03, 2012 at 04:50 PM
The photo I posted of the station with porter is from the Chester County Historical Society. It shows the station in better days - around 1900. Note the black porter and the carriage marble step he is standing on.
Jake Speicher October 04, 2012 at 04:52 AM
As always, thanks Catherine.


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