Metropolitan Corridor

  ‘The actual roadbeds, and the wonderful trains moving over them are all objects of the highest sort of organic beauty, the beauty which comes from the perfection of form to use’. -James Sturgis Pray.   THE SERVICE  which the railroad is capable of performing in the development of horticultural taste and knowledge is considerable. […]

Walking as much and with as many over the VIADUCTgreene, Past, Present, & Possible, we quickly realize the ties that bind are as many as all the people, all the machines and all the traces to all the places they go.  All the World. Today, it’s to Rural Retreat, Virginia. Christmas Eve. 1957. Here, and […]

While others rail on with fundraising for some Rail Park “Phase 1 Maintenance Fund,” one day they disingenuously claim is “slated for construction in July 2014″ then on a following day they describe merely as a “proposed park,”  VIADUCTgreene remains steady as founded, genuine,  grounded- in the Garden, not on some Fantastically Phased Parkpie in the Sky. VIADUCTgreene remains steady as founded, honing […]

originally published on the VIADUCTgreene blog on Sept. 3, 2013 “PARK” Infrastructure. Knowing well that making a gardenpark utilizing disuse and abandonment of civic infrastructure while celebrating and narrating Philadelphia’s great place in creating so much of the region’s and the world’s civic infrastructure requires a connsumate intelligence about those infrastructures. No provincial myopia allowed. Knowing well […]

  P&R presidents Franklin Gowen and Archibald Angus McLeod were features in our previous ‘mad men and their big ideas’ posts. Between the two them was the greatest mad man of the three – nabob and true robber baron, Austin Corbin.  His NYTimes obituary in June 1896 hardly lists his interest in our P&R, so eclipsed by […]

                                  As we enjoy pointing out, when the Reading Terminal opened in Jan 1893, it wasn’t just for Chestnut Hill local and its likes. For a brief while, under the lead of Archibald Angus McLeod, the P&R had  pulled off […]

People send along pics asking what’s what? and who’s who? Here’s one fun to talk about.   Evening Primrose along the 9th Street Branch with crossing wires to make Charles Demuth happy. Haverford Bike makes an impressive backdrop. A biennial with hermaphrodite flowers you can eat in your salad. Not something I’d work to include in […]

Originally published April 19, 2013 on the VIADUCTgreene Blog.  Collected news HERE. AMC’s hit-series season six it’s 1966; wartime and suburban dystopia is having its effects. Season five finale had Peter Campbell getting hit in the face and thrown off his train to Greenwich. Conductor: I’m about to throw you off. Pete: Go ahead, you fat piece of crap. Conductor: I […]

  Collected  News  Here VIADUCTgreene creates a garden of intersecting culture and wildness.  Earlier posts romanced about sleeping cars rolling over the viaductgreene from Reading’s great victorian trainshed to points far and wide.  About the time you’d be going to sleep you’d most likely be along the Lehigh River on the Lehigh Valley Railroad and maybe, as […]

December 3.   75  Years Ago.  -it spans the miles with the effortless ease of an eagle in its flight. This week’s diamond and gold anniversary of Reading’s Stainless Steel Streamlined Train deserves note.  Philadelphia designed, and Philadelphia built. The Reading Train was the first light-weight, stainless steel, streamlined , air-conditioned train to serve Philadelphia […]

I suppose it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that Reading International’s scrappers returned last week to snatch away the rest of the 9th Street Branch rails so they can be made into something else.  Almost a tease, they had left the site in the spring, leaving infrastructure north of Noble Street and with it, […]

Back on Janurary 12, 2011 we posted about OLIN and Rodin.  Back then it was more about the fun of imagineering. Back then we were delighted by the Paul Cret connections with the corridor- from neighboring Rodin, neighboring and not-neighboring Barnes, to neighboring Parkway, to Reading’s classy Crusader. Back then we couldn’t imagineer the progress.  Back […]

                                    1777.Autumn. despite a mighty defense along the Brandywine at Chadds Ford, the British Army under General William Howe occupies Philadelphia. the Continental Congress has fled to Lancaster, then York.  On December 17, under the command of General […]

“I was becoming increasingly fascinated by the subtle shifts between what was real and what wasn’t. For example, our locomotives were true to the prototype in appearance and capable of pulling cars along tracks and climbing grades, but they didn’t run like real engines at all.  Inside their bodies were electric motors.  I wanted locomotives and […]

Our friend, Annik La Farge,  just posted Introducing Urban Greenways: Other Projects Around the World, a new feature on her Livin’ the High Line Blog.  Taking a look at the variety of projects drives home the signifficance of  ”Philadelphia’s singular world-class asset; a whole much greater than the sum of its parts.” VIADUCTgreene, The 9th Street and City Branches […]

between, 11th and 12th, a few blocks due east of the Race Street Pier (no fishing), is a delivery ramp to the back of the convention center and a parking lot.  It’s fun to look back at what was, as we contemplate what can be. VIADUCTgreene works to hold an International Design Ideas Competition and one aspect […]

when the upholstery leaves explorations ensue. “Outside lies utterly ordinary space open to any casual explorer willing to find the extraordinary. Outside lies unprogrammed awareness that at times becomes directed serendipity. Outside lies magic.” ‎”The whole concatenation of wild and artificial things, the natural ecosystem as modified by people over the centuries, the built environment […]

Thanksgiving. Speed of a Hurricane.  1895. The editor of Locomotive Engineering was invited to ride #385 soon after she entered service; here’s part of Angus Sinclair’s colorful report… in 1895 Mr. S.M. Vauclain was Samuel Vauclain, plant superintendent of the Baldwin Locomotive Works.  In 1929 he became president, then Chairman of the Board until his death in 1940. […]

9.26. 2011  the New York Times: Reading, Pa., Knew It Was Poor. Now It Knows Just How Poor. “Reading, a struggling city of 88,000 that has earned the unwelcome distinction of having the largest share of its residents living in poverty, barely edging out Flint, Mich., according to new Census Bureau data.”   In 1900, […]

 Tit for Tat. thoughts from the Manayunk Bridge. “Trails connect Philly and Main Line” “It’s not just, ‘Build a cool park and they will come.’ It’s, ‘Build a cool park and connect it to a framework.’ ”-James Corner VIADUCTgreene! …. connections to a framework from American Railroad Journal. Sept.16.1882 Construction of Competing Lines by the […]

Bucolic. Busy. B&O. Brewerytown. Above, our photographer is standing in Fairmount Park having a twentieth-century view of Park Junction tower, the North (or railroad East) end of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. That’s Bergdoll Brewery up to the right on Parish St. & 29th. And yeahyeahyeah yeah, that’s the pedestrian bridge there at the bottom of 29th […]

Our Imaginary Travelers. Bucolia. Here are some views of Moselem Station along the S&L (Schuylkill & Lehigh) Branch. Built in 1874 as Berks County Railroad, later called the Berks and Lehigh, then the Schuylkill and Lehigh when the mighty P&R leased it in 1883. They bought it outright in 1923. The branchline was built along the east bank […]

Population concentrated & population distributed. Permanent reversal of suburban sprawl! Staggering spatial and cultural change! Imagineeering VIADUCTgreene, recognizing its rich history, the powerful sense of place and how it became, the terraine vague, the ruderal garden and its sustained nature, one quickly understands. “The automobile and decentralizing communication technologies have accelerated and greatly expanded horizontal metropolitan […]