Looking Back at Bridgeman’s View Tower, an Unbuilt 915-Foot-Tall Skyscraper Once Proposed in Northern Liberties, North Philadelphia

Bridgeman's View Tower. Rendering via Studio Agoos LoveraBridgeman's View Tower. Rendering via Studio Agoos Lovera

Over the course of the past three decades, many high-rise projects have been proposed along the Delaware River, yet most bit the dust before construction had ever begun. One of these is the 915-foot-tall, 66-story Bridgeman’s View Tower planned in 2007 at 900 North Delaware Avenue in Northern Liberties, North Philadelphia, a surprising location for such a tall skyscraper proposal, given the area’s then-lowrise profile. Designed by Studio Agoos Lovera and developed by Marc Stien, Ryan Roberts, and an undisclosed North Jersey real estate investment team, the tower was planned to feature a mix of residential office, hotel, and retail space, with 794 condominiums and 200 to 300 boutique hotel rooms.

Bridgeman's View Tower with the Philadelphia skyline. Model by Thomas Koloski

Bridgeman’s View Tower with the Philadelphia skyline. Model by Thomas Koloski

Bridgeman's View Tower looking southwest. Model by Thomas Koloski

Bridgeman’s View Tower looking southwest. Model by Thomas Koloski

The towers name is a shout-out to the the Ironworkers 401 Local, the builders of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the Comcast Technology Center, and many other steel-framed structures across the city. The tower would have stood at a great distance from the Center City skyline and would have been prominently visible from many areas in North Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. When driving across the Betsy Ross Bridge, the tower would have visibly merged with the skyline. On the other hand, when viewed from the Camden waterfront, Bridgeman’s View Tower would have appeared far to the north, beneath the span of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Skyline views from South Jersey would show a great separation between the tower and the skyline.

The tower was set for a November 2007 groundbreaking and a completion date of 2010, and was canceled in the aftermath of the 2008 recession.

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8 Comments on "Looking Back at Bridgeman’s View Tower, an Unbuilt 915-Foot-Tall Skyscraper Once Proposed in Northern Liberties, North Philadelphia"

  1. If Bridgeman’s view Tower had been built, it would have established an understanding that you CAN build taller than City Hall on the EAST side and attracted developers to the area.

    If you look west, you see the effect that the Cira Center had.

    Missed opportunity!

    • BVT would’ve been an iconic tower along the Delaware waterfront and would’ve helped that part of the city greatly. I’m no fan of the current lorries plans where the BVT was once proposed, I’d rather see midrises and high-rises along the waterfront instead. The Penn’s Landing Redevelopment and the Liberty on the River does give some hope to the Delaware Waterfront. In the meantime, we should really mourn the GOAT of Philadelphia proposals, the American Commerce Center, why hopefully in another world and in another dimension somewhere, the ACC is the tallest tower in Philadelphia and PA and at that dimension, was the tallest tower in North America until the Freedom Tower surpasses it in 2014-15.

  2. This is one of the most iconic projects that could have seriously changed Philadelphia and sparked greater interest in the Waterfront as a whole. I deeply regret Bridgeman View was never realized and I personally intended to buy a condo in that building; alas it is not yet to be; but the future is still unwritten.

    • I regret it too, but I also understand why the BVT was cancelled, along with Trump Tower Philadelphia, 2/5 of Waterfront Square, and the Mandeville. The 2008 recession killed those proposals, and since all of the aforementioned projects were all residential and banks weren’t lending any money, as well as decreased demand in housing during that time, those proposals bit the dust for good reason. What would’ve been had the 2008 recession never happened, we can only wonder.

  3. The recession or the RCO opposing it as factors in killing the plan.

  4. Interesting how some of the most interesting recent skyscraper designs never saw the light of day. Unfortunate.

    • I don’t think the city really really supports cutting edge designs but rather ugly proposals such as the Comcast Technology Center or the endless ugly and “modern” infill that juxtaposes itself amongst the classy rowhomes all over this city.

  5. Too many developments have been canceled along the Delaware waterfront.

    From the Disney plan for an amusement park at Penn’s Landing to Trump Tower Philadelphia, the list goes on.

    It’s as if someone at the city planning commission doesn’t support development in that area.

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