Andrew Nusca’s love note to 30th Street Station’s warm, gilded embrace

Andrew Nusca
Favorite spot: 30th Street Station
Neighborhood: University City
Address: 2951 Market Street

I am: A writer and editor who was raised in Montgomery County, works in New York and lives — for now — in Philadelphia.
Years in Philly: 20, if you count the ‘burbs
Current neighborhood: Cedar Park, West Philadelphia


My Love Note:

Dear 30th Street Station,

I admit it that it is counter-intuitive to write a love note to a place in which people exit the city of Philadelphia in droves, but we must also remember that it is a place where people enter it, too. 

And my, what an entrance one makes. As you slowly ride the escalator up from the dark, cheerless train platform, glimmers of gold begin to peek over the threshold, soon revealing a soaring coffered ceiling punctuated by capsule-shaped art deco chandeliers. You step away from the stairwell, look around, and orient yourself using the 71-ft.-high Corinthian columns at each end. Below you, the heels of hurried travelers click on the Tennessee marble, echoing across the 95-ft.-high expanse. Before you, passengers file courteously behind draping velvet ropes. Above you, the archangel Michael, rendered in columnar bronze as a war memorial, watches over the proceedings.

Then, over the public address system, a man’s deep, booming, deliberate voice: “Ammmmmmmtrak train one-seventy, to Trenton, Newark, New York, New Haven, Providence and Bostonnnnn, now boardingggggg on track threeeeeee.”

Yes, this is how to welcome someone to Philadelphia: in a warm, gilded embrace. 

My job in Manhattan often takes me away from this town, and for spells, my life removes me from it completely. But each time I return, I pass through the porticos of this station and feel how monumentally wonderful, and eminently civil, Philadelphia is. 

When I’m on my way out of the city, yet early enough to linger for a few moments, I slouch on the worn, sloping walnut-colored pews and sip coffee and watch people criss-cross the concourse: a bobbling child struggles to keep up with her long-legged parent; a high-heeled woman pauses, then bends, to fix bunching in her tights; an old, bespectacled man with wiry gray eyebrows looks up from his morning paper; a tidy business traveler clad in a gray overcoat frowns as he taps through presentation slides on a tablet computer.

There aren’t too many urban transit stations where you can do this anymore. 

Architectural historian Vincent J. Scully, Jr. once bluntly assessed another Pennsylvania Station, the one 99 miles to the north, in New York, by contrasting its airy pre-1963 incarnation with the present day version shoved beneath the Madison Square Garden arena: “One entered the city like a god, one scuttles in now like a rat.”

There are no rats in Philadelphia, at least not according to way 30th Street Station receives its guests. And if there are, they must surely wear natty red conductor’s caps like the smiling porters found here.






Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in University City 5 Comments

5 Responses to Andrew Nusca’s love note to 30th Street Station’s warm, gilded embrace

  1. Noe

    Originally, the organization focused on hands-free cigarette pipes that enabled smokers to smoke a
    cigarette down for the very end. Dubbed the Baby-G, these ladies watches arrived a range
    of feminine colours and displayed digital motifs in accordance with
    current trends. Kikuo Ibe, and the wrist watch was designed to absorb the shocks and
    turbulence of any sport or outdoor activity.

  2. ashdhsad

    Fantastic web site. A lot of helpful info here. I
    am sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

    And obviously, thanks to your effort!


    I got this web site from my pal who shared with me
    regarding this website and now this time I
    am browsing this web site and reading very informative articles or reviews at
    this place.

  4. judi-sbobet.Net

    Not lonesome as the best Asian gambling operator in the 2009 and 2010 versions of
    eGaming evaluation Magazine, but the online gambling site Sbobet has then become the 11th most ranked company in the “50 capability Company” list in 2011
    which is the list of the most influential
    companies in the eGaming industry. This is proof that Sbobet
    is not an online gambling site.

    For starters, Sbobet is the best online bookie to put on an act Asian Handicap because here
    you can choose both the type of bet and the odds you want.

    Compared to competitors such as Dafabet and 188Bet, Sbobet has the
    most amazing in-play betting utility afterward stir video streaming features for several tournaments and well-liked matches in the course of faithful customers.

  5. judi casino

    welcome and thank you for visiting online casino agents for
    Indonesia. Here we are here to have enough money permission for
    fans of sbobet casino who want to colleague the international agent site Promosbobet.

    The products offered are no question diverse and are totally the best choice.
    Derived from providers that have credibility and have been proven to have
    the best predicate in serving their customers. Providers behind Sbobet, Maxbet and many more.

    As the best online casino and soccer gambling site in Indonesia.
    We offer maximum encouragement like customer keep that works online 24 full hours every day.
    consequently members can perform whenever and wherever without fearing to approach the possibility of difficulties or confusion.


Add a Comment