Finishing Touches Going Up on W/Element Hotel at 1441 Chestnut Street in Center City

W/Element Hotel rendering via Cope-Linder Architects

The second-tallest building on Philly YIMBY’s Annual December Countdown is the W/Element Hotel, which is finishing construction at 1441 Chestnut Street in Center City, a block south of City Hall. Designed by Cope-Linder Architects and developed by Chestlen Development, the 52-story skyscraper stands 617 feet tall and features a distinctive design with jagged blue glass and gray metal cladding that was inspired by the Schuylkill River and the cliffs that run along it. The building has made a significant impact on the Center City skyline, as it joins the group of 500-foot-plus towers in the Center City core.

The building’s height was previously reported at 582 feet, but verification from parties involved with the project confirm the height at 617 feet. The building rises from the southern portion of the site where One Meridian Plaza once stood. The 492-foot-tall tower caught fire in February 1991, killing three firemen, and was demolished by 1999. Since that time, the site saw many architects and developers looking to fashion a replacement, including a Comcast proposal YIMBY covered in our Comcast Technology Center feature.

W/Element Hotel (right) and the Philadelphia skyline. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel (right) and the Philadelphia skyline. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel from the Walt Whitman Bridge. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel from the Walt Whitman Bridge. Photo by Thomas Koloski

Center City towers and W/Element Hotel (right). Photo by Thomas Koloski

Center City towers and W/Element Hotel (right). Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel signage. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel signage. Photo by Thomas Koloski

In the last update in August, many window panels were noticeably missing and were temporarily filled in with plywood panels. In addition, many of the glass balustrades at the top of the building were not yet installed, with a heavy amount of work going on inside the building and at ground level.

W/Element Hotel from the corner of Chestnut Street and North Broad Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel from the corner of Chestnut Street and North Broad Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel base from Chestnut Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel base from Chestnut Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel top from Chestnut Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel top from Chestnut Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel from Chestnut Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel from Chestnut Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel from the corner of Chestnut Street and South 15th Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel from the corner of Chestnut Street and South 15th Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

Philly YIMBY’s recent walk around the tower revealed that the ground work including the sidewalk is done and the signage has been posted along the windows advertising the hotel’s imminent opening. The building is getting some final touches as the window-cleaning BMU and basket have been going around the façade for over two months by now. At night, only the airplane warning lights illuminate the building, along with interior lighting getting filled up. None of the decorative lights have yet been turned on on a full-time basis. The decorative lighting on the tower has not been tested for a while, but at the very end of October sightings were reported of the W logo being lit up in green for a short period.

W/Element Hotel from South Street Bridge. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel from South Street Bridge. Photo by Thomas Koloski

Philadelphia skyline and W/Element Hotel (right) from South Street Bridge. Photo by Thomas Koloski

Philadelphia skyline and W/Element Hotel (right) from South Street Bridge. Photo by Thomas Koloski

The W Hotel and Element Hotel is scheduled to open on March 2, 2021.

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5 Comments on "Finishing Touches Going Up on W/Element Hotel at 1441 Chestnut Street in Center City"

  1. This turned out really nice, and better than the renderings.

  2. Replacement of the old Meridian tower with TWO is definitely a huge win for the city and the skyline!

  3. I wish they would open up the sidewalk. Everything looks finished up at sidewalk level but they’re hogging it for construction vehicles to park city free.

  4. Everything may “look” finished; however, there is allot of construction going on inside!

    If it were actually finished, the building would need to pass inspection among other important issues before a permit and license can be issued.

    I don’t know anything about construction myself, but I do know something about patience.

    This is a major skyscraper.

    Seriously!!

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