Originally designed by Wilson Brothers & Company, Broad Street Station was dramatically expanded by renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Furness from 1892 to 1893. In 1894 the PRR moved its headquarters from Fourth Street to the offices above the station, where they remained until they moved to the Suburban Station Building in the 1930s.
Broad Street Station dominated the center of the city. Trains would enter and exit the station two stories above street level on a viaduct known as the "Chinese Wall" and run west to cross the Schuylkill River. The tracks thus bisected the western half of Center City Philadelphia. Fifteenth Street ran beneath the station's lobby, and the numbered streets up to 24th ran beneath the viaduct. John F. Kennedy Boulevard traces a similar path today.
This picture shows the fire fighting in progress, east along Market Street with City Hall in the background. There was so much water pouring into the building that the Rapid Transit Subway beneath Market Street was being flooded and service had to be stopped temporarily.
In this photograph, the interior structure was still burning but the fire was under control. The steel cars in the background passed though the hottest part of the fire with little damage except for the destruction of glass, paint, and upholstery. Some of the cars were back in service the following day.
PRR workers had to get the station's tracks and platforms back in working order for service as soon as possible.
Twenty years later, another general alarm fire destroys the train shed and tracks. The station building had only some smoke damage.
Demolition was already in progress when the final fire broke out. The wrecking ball finished what the fire started.
This is the view of the City Hall Tower and the “Chinese Wall” (tracks that entered Broad Street Station) being demolished.