Today Philly YIMBY observes the city from the Interstate 95, where the skyline opens into a dramatic view. The highway is one of the longest in the country as it starts in Florida and travels north along the East Coast going through 15 states for 1,908 miles to the Canada border in Maine. But in Philadelphia, the I-95 runs along the Delaware River past the Girard Point Bridge, the sports complex, and the Navy Yard. The highway then turns north and runs under the Walt Whitman Bridge, past the decommissioned SS United States, which once held the Blue Riband as the fastest transatlantic ocean liner. The highway then travels past Penn’s Landing and under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, where it turns to the northeast to head towards Trenton and New York City.
First we look at the sports complex, with its Live! Casino and Hotel, Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and Xfinity Live! dominating the view when driving from the east to the west. In the foreground, we see the small businesses that crowd the area to the east of the stadiums, and in the background we can observe the entire skyline from the hospital buildings of University City, to the dominant towers of Center City, all the way to the Society Hill towers. From here, we get a great sense of progress as the city’s physical image is changing in a dramatic way not seen in a long time.
Many of the major projects that were proposed over nearly two years ago are making significant progress. One of the most significant projects on the list is the 542-foot-tall, 47-story Arthaus condominium at 311 South Broad Street, which has topped out its concrete core and roof, which nears the height of the William Penn statue atop City Hall. Cladding has been racing to the top and now rises to the first terrace of the skyscraper. The tower is planned to open by the end of next year.
The second major development that can be seen is the 599-foot Laurel Rittenhouse Square at 1911 Walnut Street, which is just now popping into the skyline as the tower is now over 300 feet. The building’s structure is over halfway up and the final shape of the tower is starting to take form as the floor plates push back from Walnut Street above the 27th floor which will be situated for amenity space. The glass and stone rises up to the 16th floor and the crane is sticking out of the skyline nearly as much as Arthaus’ crane.
As the buildings positions change while driving fast along the highway, the two tower Riverwalk project at 60 North 23rd Street can be seen as well with the north tower long topped out and the 363-foot south tower on its way up to block the 315-foot north tower from this view. The structure will soon stand 32 stories tall and the glass and metal cladding has just started installation last month, with the glass now on the fifth floor.