Urban recently had two projects recognized by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia at the organization’s 22nd annual Preservation Achievement Awards.
Receiving Grand Jury Awards were renovation projects for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) Wayne Junction and the University of Pennsylvania’s Arts, Research, and Culture House.
SEPTA Wayne Junction Station
2129 Windram Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Urban Engineers assisted SEPTA with the planning, design, and construction of the Wayne Junction rehabilitation project.
SEPTA’s Wayne Junction Station serves six regional rail lines, three bus routes, and more than 190,000 annual riders. The first station at the site was established in 1832. The present station complex was designed for the Reading Railroad by the Wilson Brothers Company in 1901. It stands as the gateway to two National Historic Districts and five distinct.
In 2015, SEPTA completed a four-year, $25 million station modernization of Wayne Junction, making it the latest and most ambitious in a series of historically sensitive station rehabilitations undertaken by the transit agency in recent years. Initially considered for demolition due to their poor condition, the existing brick and terra cotta station building and head house were instead restored and reconfigured to accommodate new platforms and amenities. Sensitive new platform shelters, elevators, pedestrian ramps, and signage complement the site’s historic character while vastly improving its comfort, safety, and accessibility. This strategic investment is the keystone in a larger effort to redevelop neighborhoods surrounding the station, including the recently-designated Wayne Junction Industrial Historic District.
Arts, Research, Culture House (ARCH)
3601 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
Working with SaylorGregg Architects, A Studio of Jacobs Wyper architects, Urban provided civil/site, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection design services for the ARCH renovation project.
Constructed as a private Protestant student center in 1928, this Collegiate Gothic landmark has been an inclusive, multicultural center of student activity on the University of Pennsylvania campus since its purchase by the school in 1999. Home to three student cultural resource centers and the University’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, ARCH House recently completed a $25 million modernization campaign to overhaul the building’s HVAC and IT systems, improve circulation and egress, upgrade interior furnishings and fixtures, and bring more natural light and life to underused areas of the buildings.
Preservation of the building’s historic character was central to the project’s success. Exterior restoration included masonry cleaning and repair, conservation of intricate carved limestone ornament, and a new slate roof. Through the interior is now outfitted with contemporary furnishings and fixtures, these rejuvenated spaces were designed to complement and showcase original wood, plaster, and stained glass details. A modest rear addition housing new restrooms and an egress stair was carefully sited and detailed in stone and brick to compliment the historic structure.