Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a fan of exploring, and if I encounter an interesting-looking abandoned building, I can’t help but get a closer look! Something about dilapidated interiors–their former, deteriorated glory highlighted by the sunlight flooding through the cracks in the boards–is just fascinating to me.
I was driving back from Connecticut on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and had hit a lull. To avoid the risk of getting sleepy, I got off at the next exit and bought a large coffee at McDonalds. On my way out, I took a closer look at the train station across the street. Though it was boarded up and crumbling, it still murmured of the glory that Italianate architecture inherently boasts. There were several train cars parked behind the station and an added newer structure (also abandoned) that appeared to have been some sort of night club. My coffee was still too hot to drink (read: boiling-lava-scalding hot, thanks McDonalds), so I decided to walk around the perimeter and check it out.
In between the two train cars parked permanently behind the structure, one of the windows had been de-boarded and the glass was broken in. Train cars are tall, mind you, but very climbable. I had my camera on me, because I had been in Connecticut for a photography workshop, and I decided the train cars were worth exploring. (I didn’t expect them to be connected to the train station itself.) After a quick glance around and a verbal order at my coffee to “Stay, boy!”, I hoisted myself up into the train car, taking care to avoid the broken glass.
The train cars, as it turns out, are connected to the train station through a passageway that was clearly constructed later, probably at the same time as the nightclub. At once, as I entered the station itself, it took my breath away. From the intricate carved wood of the fireplace and staircase to the candy-colored moulding on the ceiling, it’s both fascinating and melancholic to see such architectural beauty long forgotten.
You can read more about the Lehigh and Susquehanna train station’s tragic and corruption-filled history (ooh, dramatic!) here.