This 1973 newspaper ad for Opening Night for the Phillies has always tickled my fancy. The Billy Penn statue sporting a glove and bat, the generic baseball player from an earlier time and even the fancy crosses (X marks the spot!) for the express stops on Broad Street line. Noticeably absent from the stations, Lehigh Avenue, which would have been the destination just three years prior when the Phillies called Connie Mack Stadium home. And not just an ad, this graphic includes lots of useful information, such as times to City Hall from 69th Street and Bridge Street, When the express trains leave Fern Rock. Important phone numbers that start with letters. Just don’t ask me what is up with the illustration of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

This was all brand new (well except for the Broad Street Subway train cars, SEPTA was still running cars from 1938 at the time), though this was the third season for Veterans Stadium and the Spectrum had opened in 1967, it wasn’t until opening day for the Phillies in 1973 that you could take the subway to Pattison Avenue.

Snyder Avenue had served as the southernmost station on the Broad Street Subway from its opening in 1938 till the 1973 when service was extended to Oregon and Pattison Avenue stations. The opening was a big deal with ribbon cuttings, special trains and even an appearance by the Phillies Hot Pants Squad!

Grand Opening of Pattison Station

Photos via Temple University Libraries [Temple University Libraries]

The station is actually two levels, with the bottom level to be used for big events. In reality, the second platform was seldom used and its lack of elevators and escalators made it an accessibility no-go. Today, you can see the lower level island platform as you approach the station.

Detail of SEPTA map, Oregon and Pattison stations and the Sports Complex (1974).

Broad Street Line to the Navy Yard?

Could we see a Broad Street Subway expansion beyond Pattison Avenue? Maybe? The Navy Yard beckons and preliminary plans have been made. A 2008 feasibility study explored four potential alignments to bring two new stations into the Navy Yard.

2008 Feasibility Study to extend Broad Street Line into the Navy Yard.

So when you head to Citizens Bank Park this season, take the Broad Street line and drop some knowledge on the history of Pattison, now NRG Station. I’m sure your friends will buy you a Schwarburger for educating them.