plaqueThere are two beautiful things in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station that I like to stop to admire whenever I’m there. One is the Angel of the Resurrection war memorial, and the other is Karl Bitter’s 1895 Spirit of Transportation. I took these photos today before leaving for State College.

Spirit of Transportation is arresting in the best way, practically demanding you stop to look on it. It’s monumental public art that comes from a time when we had greater faith in potential for art to redeem a mundane or unremarkable experience by placing it within a more meaningful context.

It’s not simply kitsch or decoration, and that’s probably why it has survived Broad Street Station, its original home.