(a)bioitic Consults on New Allen Lane Station in Mt Airy

The Allen Lane station is located in the Mt. Airy neighbor hood of Philadelphia, PA.  It was constructed in 1880 and it's design is attributed to architect Frank Furness and now houses a well visited coffee shop.  In 1930 a wonderful pedestrian bridge spanned the tracks and blended smoothly with the station.  The building and bridge have stood as a stunning example of the Victorian style, and although they had fallen to disrepair, it was important to residents that their unique character be maintained. 

In August of 2009, reconstruction began with $6.9 million federal money. Construction can and often is difficult work and the Allen Lane project but was stalled by weather and other construction conflicts.  The renovations include adding ADA-accessible ramps (the platform itself was raised 4 feet) and outdoor shelters, as well as reconstructing the pedestrian bridge.  In addition, an ambitious planting plan should bring many beautiful and wildlife friendly native species.

Bidge and Platform Before construction.
In the summer of 2010 an initial and ultimately unsuccessful attempt at a landscape installation was made.  The soil was never properly stabilized and the proper planting soil was not used.  Many of the neighbors are anxious to see the project complete and since the initial landscape was a failure, are excited to see the landscape.

Because, of their experience with construction and planting Ben and Emily from (a)biotic design studio were asked to consult with SEPTA.   Along with a representative from the West Mount Airy Neighbor's Streetscape Committee as well as the leader of the local Town Watch, they were on a fact finding and networking mission to help the landscape reach its full potential. 

The landscape schedule is still undetermined and many of the ongoing maintenance conversations will not be able to take place until the plants are in the ground.  (a)biotic expressed their concerns regarding slope stabilization and tree protection but in general  communicated their satisfaction with the workmanship and quality of the bridge and hardscape construction.  SEPTA seemed to be as interested as the local residents to see the place succeed as a beautiful and functional social space that is enjoyed and cared for by the community.

Stay tuned for updates on construction and ribbon cutting dates!

No comments:

Post a Comment