SOM tasked with transforming Philadelphia railway station

A design consortium has been appointed to come up with a development master plan for Philadelphia’s 30th Street station.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN, and HR&A Advisors, has been chosen to develop a station master plan as part of wider scheme which is aiming to turn the USA’s ‘tired’ railway stations into ‘the centrepieces of thriving urban neighbourhoods’.

The master plan will consider options for the area surrounding the station, including the 75 acres of rail yards beside the terminal.

SOM has already contributed to the Denver Union Station Redevelopment, which is close to completion, and last year, the design house published a series of striking concept images for Penn Station in New York.

Bob LaCroix, Amtrak chief of corridor development, said: “Along with our great partners, we look forward to developing a bold vision for the precinct that accommodates growing demand for passenger rail service and outlines a framework for development that can reshape the Philadelphia skyline for generations to come.”

Roger Duffy, SOM design partner, described the project as “a singular opportunity to re-imagine one of the most significant and dramatic urban areas in America”.

Further station master plans are being drawn up in Washington, DC, Baltimore and Chicago.

The design phase is expected to last two years.

  1. Tired? At current ridership trends and developments already happening, the area couldn’t be less tired. I wonder how Drexel’s plans for their adjacent “Innovation Neighborhood” will be incorporated as well.

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