The Uncanny Valley

Notes on art, culture and preservation

Frank Furness, master of railroads, subject of yet another can’t-miss exhibit

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Philadelphia-broadst-138288pv-bisThere are those who assert that every day is Frank Furness Day in Philadelphia. Still, after the year-long celebration of the centenary of his death, it’s easy to get withdrawal symptoms and pine for the festivities of yesteryear. Fear not: the Library Company of Philadelphia has one more exhibit to help you manage your Furnessian architectu-romance. Frank Furness: Working on the Railroads is a tribute to the days when rail stations were temples of American industry. No cathedral, indeed, was grander than Furness’ Broad Street Station (pictured), of which you’ll find a handsome terra cotta model in the exhibit room, Chinese wall included, along with a mini-documentary cataloguing its rise and all-but-inevitable fall. Furness also designed scores of smaller stations for competing rail companies, a handful of which luckily survive. Featuring relics salvaged from Broad Street Station and artistic renderings for masterworks never built (among them an ambitious re-imagining of BSS), it’s an exhibit certain to enlighten as another invaluable lens to Furness’ work. Railroads haven’t been this fun since you trounced your friends at Ticket to Ride.

Frank Furness: Working on the Railroads at the Library Company of Philadelphia (1314 Locust St.), free admission, through April 19

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Written by cwmote

January 31, 2013 at 5:55 am

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