Amtrak Intermodal Gateway Project

Philadelphia, PA


Amtrak and Berwind Properties


BLT Architects
Planning and architecture

Michael Ytterberg
Design Principal

Urban/STV Joint Venture Engineers
Prime for pedestrian bridge and garage

Tim Haas & Associates
Parking garage design


Size: 521,000 sf, garage, 2,500 sf, bridge
Cost: $50,000,000, garage, $6,000,000, bridge, $2,000,000, mezzanine
Completion: 2004, garage, 2005, bridge and mezzanine

A new master plan for the Amtrak Intermodal Gateway Project involved preparing the way for the Cira Centre office building along with development of a new garage for the nation’s second-busiest rail terminal – Amtrak’s 30th Street Station. The nine-level, double helix garage boasts 2,100 parking spaces overall (up from the original 1,100), 1,525 of them in the garage, which replaces the western one-third of the old parking deck across Arch Street from the station. Glazed elevators offer panoramic views of the Center City skyline. A glass enclosed stair tower affords views of the railyard space and Philadelphia beyond for rail enthusiasts.

Arch Street at 30th Street Station is part of US Route 3, fed by an off-ramp from Interstate 76 at the northeastern corner of the station. Traffic is therefore extremely heavy and pedestrian access is hazardous. A route over Arch Street plugs directly into the northern end of SEPTA’s Regional Rail mezzanine, making the trip from any point in the station to the new parking garage and Cira Centre as direct and convenient as possible. An escalator makes for a continuous flow of circulation in both directions from the station onto the glass enclosed pedestrian bridge, and over Arch Street. The curved, glazed forms of the bridge were intended to reinforce the 21st century image of the new Acela trains.

The project included interior renovations to public spaces on the SEPTA Mezzanine, above the main station concourse, including new retail storefronts, illuminated directional signs and graphics, interior lighting, floor and ceiling finishes and passenger amenities. It provides an active, vibrant link between the main portions of the station and, via the Arch Street pedestrian bridge to the Cira Centre office building, to the station’s new parking structure. The north end of the retail area now has a view north to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, letting in natural light for the first time. New architectural elements integrate rolling grilles, signage and light fixtures and form gateways to the tracks above, and use forms also present in the new Arch Street pedestrian bridge.