New Dilworth Plaza to lead to same old SEPTA stations

Posted: February 09, 2012

The $50 million makeover of Dilworth Plaza will create an inviting gateway to subway stations that will remain considerably less inviting.

Unable to pay for a planned $100 million renovation of City Hall subway stations, SEPTA will usher riders from the brighter, airier plaza and concourse to platform areas that will be as they are today: decrepit, dingy, and dim.

SEPTA has been trying for years to get money to modernize the nearly century-old City Hall station on the Broad Street subway line, as well as the adjacent 15th Street stations on the Market-Frankford and Subway-Surface lines.

The renovation project remains on hold after Gov. Corbett proposed a state budget Tuesday that held mass transit spending at current levels.

Above the stations, the Center City District is overseeing the remake of Dilworth Plaza, which will transform the concrete desert west of City Hall into a large lawn with trees, a fountain, and a cafe by 2014. It will also provide five elevators to the Market-Frankford and Subway-Surface lines.

SEPTA is spending about $14 million for the elevators and associated construction.

The Dilworth remake will include improvements to the mazelike concourse to make entry and exit easier, and the turnstile areas will be rebuilt.

But "once you get past the fare line, it's the same station that it is now," said Jeff Knueppel, chief engineer for SEPTA.

Contact staff writer Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or

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