Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lost Building of the Week

Broad Street Station

Centre Square

Frank Furness once got busy in a Burger King bathroom.

Ok, I know I already had a LBOTW on Sunday but that was a special one. This is the real one for this week. 

Broad Street Station, designed by Wilson Brothers and Company in 1881 and expanded by Badass-Motherfucker-in-Chief Frank Furness, is probably the city’s biggest architectural loss (except maybe for that building model I made out of foamcore that I spilled coffee on). Look at this fucking thing. Imagine what a great landmark this must have been to the smelly pit-stained rotten-toothed gentlemen of the era. This Ziggurat of Face-fucking Glory was so awesome they called it Broad Street Station even though it wasn’t even on Broad Street.
This building is pretty well-known to us Philaphiles. We all know that it had the largest indoor roof in the world at the time until it burned down in 1933, we all know the lobby was covered in great artwork that got moved to 30th St. Station, we all know about the “Chinese Wall”, and if you don’t know about any of those things, fuck you. What nobody knows, however, is WHY THE FUCK THEY KNOCKED THIS THING DOWN. 
Imagine all the uses this pile of bricks would have today. Fuck the trainshed, fuck the “Chinese Wall”, but the headhouse could be used for about 10,000 uses today if someone wasn’t stupid enough to knock it down and replace it with BOXES. You just have to imagine a bunch of guys in a boardroom sitting around presenting designs for the station’s low-rise office tower replacements. Edmund Bacon was probably there, slapping the architects with his Kevin Bacon-making cock screaming “NOOO!!! <slap>THOSE LOOK TOO MUCH LIKE BUILDINGS!!! <slap> I WANT BOXES, MOTHERFUCKER <slap> BOXES!!!!!!<slap slap>. 
 This building was such a Monastery of Crotch-Kicking that a companion building, also designed by the Badass-Motherfucker-in-Chief, was built across Market Street from it. We’ll get to that building another time.

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