Christopher tm Herdt (cherdt) wrote,
Christopher tm Herdt

Philadelphia subway concourse

There's an entrance to the PATCO subway line right around the corner from my building. The PATCO line runs between Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey (and suburbs), so that's not of much use to me. However, the subway concourse runs quite a ways underground, and connects with Philadelphia's SEPTA lines.

I had occasionally made use of the subway concourse to duck out of the rain or cold for a block or two, but I had no idea how extensive they were. I found an old wall map in one passage and used it to make a simplified map: Philadelphia Subway Concourse Map

I can get to Suburban Station, Lord & Taylor, or Market East Station entirely underground. And because Market East Station has a shopping mall with pedestrian walkways over the streets, I can walk to Kmart, 9 blocks away, entirely inside.

I recently saw a guy lead three women down underneath the streets to get out of the cold. The women complained that it smelled bad, which it does a little, but I'll take that over getting soaking wet or freezing. But it's more than just the convenience of this underground labyrinth that intrigues me. I'm kind of surprised that I don't see more people down there. I know that other cities have street musicians and vendors underground, or even homeless people, trying to keep warm. I remember Munich's subway concourse was particularly lively, with a walkable shopping mall between stations, entirely underneath the old city above. I guess I have seen a little of that here, but just not nearly as much as I would expect, given the expansiveness of these passageways. The concourse under Broad Street is, well, broad: you could play soccer down there (just look out for the support beams). There's a lot of empty space underneath the streets.
Tags: philadelphia, subway

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