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Harrisburg Transportation Center

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Pennsylvania Railroad Station
1885–1887, W. Bleddyn Powell; 1985–1986 restored, Karn, Charuhas, Chapman and Twohey. S. 4th and Chestnut sts.
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

In 1884, Frank Furness bragged that his stations for the Reading Railroad were being imitated by its competitor, the Pennsylvania Railroad, which had recently hired Powell as staff architect. Powell designed the “Pennsy”'s stations on the Chestnut Hill line in Philadelphia in a way that merged Richardsonian simplification with elements of Furness's work. The same qualities can be seen here in the long facade and massive brownstone lintels, but the deep knee braces supporting the perimeter shelter recall Furness's Wissahickon Station (demolished). Within, the building contains a handsome waiting room, paneled in the golden oak of the period and detailed with Queen Anne raised panels. To the rear, two train sheds above the through tracks form part of the Main Line between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The station was restored in the 1980s by a Washington, D.C., firm.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas



  • 1885

  • 1985


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Harrisburg Transportation Center", [Harrisburg, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 349-350.

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