Horseshoe Curve Museum

Altoona, PA

Horseshoe Curve gets its name from the dramatic horseshoe-shaped bend formed by the railroad track built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1854 near Altoona, Pennsylvania. In 1992, we were selected to design a new Museum and Visitor's Center adjacent to the site. We designed the new building complex to evoke turn of the century railroad stations. To that end, we separated the building into two separate pavilions and connected them with a covered loggia that alluded to waiting platforms. This division also allowed the owner to close the museum located in the larger pavilion, while leaving the gift shop and bathrooms open. A funicular was designed to transport visitors from the museum to the historic railroad site 100 feet above. With minimal excavation, an exterior staircase was designed to fit within the existing hillside. Our design team worked closely and successfully with five different public agencies to obtain the necessary approvals and permits to complete this project.

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