Before One Liberty Place topped the Philadelphia skyline in 1987, a larger skyscraper, also designed by Helmut Jahn, was proposed in the city of Houston, with a design that featured striking similarities to the future Philadelphia tower. Known as the Bank of the Southwest, the supertall was planned to count 82 floors, with an angled crown capped with a sharp spire that would rise 1,404 feet high. The larger office floors were to have angled cuts on each corner. The firm of Jahn/Murphy, Inc. was chosen after a design contest in 1982 and the tower was projected to be completed by 1986. The tower was cancelled by 1983 due to a lack of funding, but elements of the design were later integrated into the Philadelphia skyscraper.
The skyscraper would have stood out prominently in the skyline, rising around 400 feet taller than the other surrounding high-rises, including some of the largest ones that were completed in the previous years. The tower’s glass, metal and stone cladding would have made the tower visually pop, with the glass absorbing the tones of the sky. The stone pattern on the four sides of the crown under the angled edges was similar to the pattern at the top of One Liberty Place.
The nighttime lighting would have been incredible, with highlights at each of the setbacks. The angled faces at the top and the spire would have been lit up, as well. The tower, ahead of its time for its height and design, would have been a fantastic addition that would have greatly improved the Houston skyline.