If you’ve never explored the Reading Railroad right of way – either above ground on the 9th Street viaduct or below grade in the City Branch tunnel along Pennsylvania Avenue, Unusual Spaces has this peek for you.
A team from PBS Digital Studios toured the Reading Viaduct’s right of way with the late Paul vanMeter, a leading and early voice advocating for creative reuse of what he called “one of the greatest architectural spaces ever.” What comes through loud and clear is vanMeter's passion for the possibilities of the Viaduct and his recognition that the Viaduct is so reflective of and connected to Philadelphia history.
vanMeter passed in February, but we’re likely to benefit from his enduring vision for the Reading Viaduct. His ideas still inform the work that Friends of the Rail Park carries forward in trying to create a public space out of the abandoned rail infrastructure.
Take a look and a listen:
Ashley Hahn is an independent writer with a background in historic preservation and city planning. She started Eyes on the Street for PlanPhilly in 2011 and was PlanPhilly's managing editor from 2015-2017. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and New York. She is a Philadelphian by choice.