In the early 1900s, construction has just finished at Philadelphia City Hall (completed in 1901), with the clock tower dominating Center City. The skyline was not yet filled with massive towers. Instead, low- and mid-rise buildings made up the urban landscape. At the time, the city was growing rapidly, and a new generation of notable buildings was completed by the turn of the 20th century, including City Hall and the Masonic Temple. Today Philly YIMBY presents massing renderings of the Philadelphia skyline as it appeared all the way back in 1905.
Most of the tallest buildings in the skyline featured flat tops with roof access structures. The skylines of neighborhoods outside of Center City were very flat, mostly filled with rowhouses, wit church steeples and factory smokestacks popping out all around. In these neighborhoods, some of the largest buildings lined Broad Street, which leads to City Hall.
At the top of the skyline stood the William Penn statue atop City Hall at a height of 548 feet tall. Large structures lined the south side of Market Street, with two major buildings sharing the skyline with City Hall. At 121 South Broad Street, the North American Building was finished in 1900 and stands at a height of 267 feet and 21 stories. Two years later, the Land Title and Trust Building was completed at a height of 347 feet and 23 stories.