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Concourse

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NEWS
August 21, 1986
As a relatively new resident of Philadelphia, I may have fresh impressions to offer on an area of weakness that ought to be an area of strength. The underground concourse in Center City could be practical, lively and attractive. Instead it is awkward to use, dreary and ugly. My suggestions: The concourse needs maps to guide visitors and natives to the Gallery, South Broad, etc. The only map I have seen is on one of the subway platforms. The concourse should have more visible security.
NEWS
November 15, 1993 | by Dave Davies, Daily News Staff Writer
For a week, ominous rumors swirled among advocates for the homeless: The city would hire a private security force to drive the homeless from Center City subway concourses, sweeping them not into shelters, but into the cold night. It turned out differently. The city's clearing of the subway encampment late Saturday night was accomplished virtually without confrontation, as practically all the homeless left voluntarily. "They did it in a nice way," said a man who identified himself as "Uptown," one of a handful of homeless still in the concourse at 11 p.m. Saturday.
NEWS
December 16, 1988 | By Thomas Ferrick Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer Inquirer staff writer Dan Meyers contributed to this article
Police and city workers yesterday dismantled the cardboard shanties and makeshift beds set up in recent weeks by the homeless in the Broad Street Subway concourse near Spruce Street. The operation began at 8:30 a.m. when police knocked on the front of Terry Ryan's box and told him and an estimated three dozen others to leave. Within two hours, crews had removed the boxes, cleared the area and were hosing down the concrete floor with water. "We left when we were asked," said Ryan, 19. "We didn't come down here to start a riot.
NEWS
December 4, 1987 | By Vernon Loeb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Center City's underground concourse should be developed with shops and restaurants below the intersection of Broad and Chestnut Streets and maintained by an independent authority, according to a consultant's study released yesterday by the City Planning Commission. The study concluded that the concourse - a vast expanse for pedestrians from Eighth to 17th Streets under Market Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard and from Race to Spruce Streets under Broad Street - "is potentially the finest in the country," connecting transit lines below ground with streets above.
NEWS
June 21, 1989 | By Robert J. Terry, Inquirer Staff Writer
About 30 youths attacked and robbed a man in the subway concourse at 15th and Market Streets yesterday afternoon and then were chased out by police officers, who made six arrests, authorities said. Nathan Butcher, 19, of the city's West Oak Lane section, was walking through the concourse about 12:30 p.m. when he saw the youths, ranging in age from about 13 to about 18, running toward him and shouting, according to police Detective Joseph Sweeney. One youth ripped two gold chains from Butcher's neck.
NEWS
April 1, 1993 | By Thomas J. Gibbons Jr., INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An argument between two homeless men erupted into gunfire in a Center City subway concourse last night, leaving one critically wounded, authorities said. An estimated 30 homeless people were settling down for the night about 9 p.m. in their encampment on the eastbound side of the station at 13th and Market Streets when a shot rang out. A man identified by police and witnesses as Wendell "Chuckie" Ellerbe, 31, clutched his stomach. "First he stood there like he couldn't believe what happened," said another homeless man, Leo Fennello, 61. "Then he kind of grabbed his stomach and said, 'Somebody help me!
NEWS
July 29, 2000 | By John Corr and Michael Klein, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Can you get there from here? Some of the red, white and blue cardboard signs that have sprouted along the underground SEPTA concourse around City Hall directing riders to the "Pa. Convention Center" seem to be pointing in the wrong direction. Take a sign in the concourse near Locust Street pointing south. The Convention Center is actually north and east of there. SEPTA has an explanation: "The signs are designed specifically with out-of-towners in mind," SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney said.
NEWS
January 7, 2011 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ben Davis usually would pick up his wife from her hair appointment in Center City and ride home with her on the train "for her safety," said Ren'ee DeSanto, a stylist at Salon Hair Express. On Thursday morning, while waiting for his wife's hair to be done, Davis was attacked and robbed in a men's room just steps from the salon, in the old Lit Bros. building. "I was in the middle of doing her hair," DeSanto said. "He came stumbling around here, bleeding profusely from his head. " Davis' wife, Sandra, thought he had been punched.
NEWS
October 17, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Philadelphia man charged with killing a rival crack cocaine dealer catering to the homeless people who stay overnight in the Suburban Station concourse was found guilty of first-degree murder yesterday. The Common Pleas Court jury deliberated about four hours before returning the verdict against Bryant "Heavy" Brown. Brown, 30, said nothing as Judge Shelley Robins New immediately sentenced him to life in prison without parole - the sentence required by Pennsylvania law for first-degree murder where the death penalty is not possible.
NEWS
March 1, 1989
From City Hall to Locust Street, the subway concourse is clean, if unrelievedly bleak. But just south of Locust, a pedestrian is hit by the gagging scent of urine. This is the turf - between Locust and Spruce - that Philadelphia has ceded to the box people. Late last year they were evicted, their presence something of an embarrassment when juxtaposed on the television news with that of bejeweled, above-ground concert-goers. But they are back. This time with a vengeance. The Inquirer's Thomas Ferrick Jr. spent a week reporting on them, turning up stories of rampant drug abuse, heavy drinking, frequent sex, partying, brawling, anxiety.
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NEWS
March 30, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
A Philadelphia jury returned a split verdict Monday in the trial of a former SEPTA police officer accused of roughing up and falsely arresting a nurse after a Christmas 2013 argument in a Suburban Station doughnut shop. The Common Pleas Court jury of six men and six women deliberated about two hours before finding Douglas Ioven guilty of misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment and official oppression involving the arrest of Muibat Williamson. The jury acquitted Ioven, 44, of simple assault and obstruction of administration of law. The assault count involved Williamson's allegation that Ioven stepped on her foot after cutting in line at a Dunkin' Donuts shop in the concourse and later banged her head into an ATM trying to apprehend her. The obstruction charge involved arresting Williamson to prevent her from filing a complaint against him with SEPTA superiors.
NEWS
March 24, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
Douglas Ioven and Muibat Williamson both had to work on Christmas 2013. Ioven was starting his shift as a SEPTA police officer, and Williamson was heading home from hers as an overnight neurology nurse at Einstein Medical Center, when they met at a Dunkin' Donuts shop in the concourse of Suburban Station. Christmas only went downhill from there. On Tuesday, both prepared to relive their very un-merriest of Christmases past in a Philadelphia courtroom, where Ioven, 44, went on trial on charges of witness retaliation and intimidation, official oppression, assault, and other offenses for arresting Williamson after an argument about cutting in line.
NEWS
March 17, 2016 | By Stu Bykofsky
THE FIRST TIME, she walked around for 45 minutes to work up the nerve to do it. As someone who shuns the spotlight, approaching a homeless person with an offer of food, a handout, was outside her comfort zone. "I thought people would be resentful," Sharon Suleta says. The first time was nine weeks ago this very night, in the Suburban Station underground concourse. Dragging a food-filled luggage cart behind her, with a socks-stuffed canvas bag over her arm, she approached those who appeared to be homeless and asked, "Would you like a dinner bag?"
BUSINESS
March 17, 2016 | By Jacob Adelman, Staff Writer
Amtrak and its development partners want to build a new underground concourse linking 30th Street Station with SEPTA's subways and trolleys as the first step in a 35-year plan for the area. The concourse, to be topped by a skylight and lined with shops along its 250-foot span, would be completed during the first half of the 2020s, according to a draft of the 30th Street Station District Plan to be released during an open house at the station Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. The draft is the latest stage in a $5.25 million study, nearing completion after two years, of plans for the station.
NEWS
July 17, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writer rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
THE MULTITIERED granite steps from the concourse of the Municipal Services Building provide more than just an egress from SEPTA's underground rail line to the Center City streets above. The steps, or rather the cavernous space beneath them, offer refuge from the rain for Philadelphia's homeless. "This is the only dry place we can go in Center City," George Creamer said yesterday after yet another soaker left puddles near his cardboard sleeping mat. "Trust me, I'd rather sleep out underneath the stars, but on nights like tonight, when it's going to rain, there is going to be 20 people down here.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2015 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two hours behind schedule, Beth Heinly finally located a working electrical outlet in the echoing cavern of the Broad Street concourse and settled in, wearing a puffy chef's hat, to cook pasta. The mac-and-cheese giveaway was Heinly's take on site-specific performance art - meant to engage a space that mostly lies vacant, except for occasional skateboarders, scuttling rainy-day commuters, and covert smokers of marijuana. "I wanted to do a really loving thing in a scary place," she said.
NEWS
February 5, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
One of the most heavily traveled pavements in Philadelphia runs not along any street, but through the busy Gallery shopping center. Its basement-level concourse stretches more than three blocks, from Jefferson Station (formerly Market East) to the subway lines that converge beneath the old Strawbridge's building. Each workday, thousands of commuters, shoppers, and others surge through this convenient all-weather thoroughfare, which also provides vital access for the disabled. But with the Gallery, one of the nation's oldest urban malls, soon to undergo a major overhaul, those Philadelphians in their thousands face the prospect that this long-standing right-of-way will be blocked for as long as a year or more.
NEWS
January 9, 2015 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
BY NOW, the Hub of Hope, Project HOME's seasonal social-service center for the homeless in Suburban Station, should be buzzing with men and women wanting to see a case worker or a doctor or just get a short reprieve from the cold with a tepid cup of coffee or a pair of socks. But in a cruel irony, the Hub of Hope is homeless. In November, the landlord who had donated the space for the past three winters sent word that he would no longer be able to "due to complaints from tenants and brokers.
BUSINESS
June 18, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The 11 workers who clean the gritty subway concourses under Center City fear that they will lose their jobs when SEPTA takes control of the miles of concourses from the city on July 1. The workers, who do the dirty work of cleaning up after nighttime revelers and homeless people before the morning rush of commuters, work for a janitorial company that is a subcontractor for the Center City District. Under a contract approved last month, the city - owner of the concourses - and the CCD will relinquish responsibility for cleaning, maintenance, and repairs to SEPTA.
NEWS
May 24, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA will spend about 3 percent more for transit operations in the fiscal year that begins July 1, and it will nearly double its spending on major construction and repair projects, thanks to an infusion of state money. The SEPTA board unanimously approved a $1.33 billion operating budget and a $572 million capital budget Thursday, without discussion. The operating budget, which includes no fare increases, provides money for a pilot program to resume 24-hour-a-day subway service on weekends, beginning this summer.
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