Looking Back at the W/Element Hotel Rising Into the Philadelphia Skyline

W/Element Hotel south face. Photo by Thomas KoloskiW/Element Hotel south face. Photo by Thomas Koloski

One of the most significant skyscrapers recently constructed in Philadelphia is the W/Element Hotel at 1441 Chestnut Street in Center City. Located at the former site of the demolished One Meridian Plaza, the tower went through several design changes and different architectural firms, with Cope-Linder Architects being the final choice. The site also went through different developers, with Chestlen Development Group ending up as the final developer. The proposal was revealed in 2013, and now the tower is finally nearing completion. Today Philly YIMBY looks at the tower’s construction progress over the years.

W/Element Hotel under construction from Dilworth Park. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel under construction from Dilworth Park. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel under construction from Riverwinds. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel under construction from Riverwinds. Photo by Thomas Koloski

The groundbreaking took place in April 2015, leaving the sidewalks closed for the next six years. Groundwork was in progress for a long time, with the job was completed in May 2016 when the tower crane was erected. The footprint was laid in September and the tower was at street level by November. The structure then climbed five stories above ground, transferring to the residential floor plates by April 2017. With the floor plates shrinking in size and the fact that nearly the entire structure is concrete, the pace of construction went quicker.

W/Element Hotel under construction from One Liberty Place. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel under construction from One Liberty Place. Photo by Thomas Koloski

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

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

The structure appeared in the skyline by November 2017, when the tower had reached the floor where the Element Hotel switches up to the W Hotel. The building rapidly gained an imposing presence as each floor went up, with the tower eventually topping the concrete by August 2018. The façade was over halfway up on the structure, with steel topping the tower along with the W logo in October. Some of the cladding was started at the crown of the tower before the floors were fully clad, with the skin completed by late summer 2019.

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

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

W/Element Hotel under construction from Camden. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel under construction from Camden. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel lit up from a nearby garage. Photo by Thomas Koloski

W/Element Hotel lit up from a nearby garage. Photo by Thomas Koloski

The Element Hotel opened on May 13, while the W Hotel is scheduled to open in July.

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4 Comments on "Looking Back at the W/Element Hotel Rising Into the Philadelphia Skyline"

  1. Michael DeSantis | June 5, 2021 at 10:44 am | Reply

    Too bad the North side turned out disappointing. I thought that there would be another “W” at the top. Or is there? I’m not in Philly anymore, and I haven’t been back for a while. The last thing that I remember was this one guy painting the North side this blah gray. But the south side turned out nice.

  2. The demolished One Meridian Plaza building was located to the north facing City Hall which is now the site of Residences at the Ritz-Carlton. This new hotel is on the site where the tall Morris Building and some smaller buildings where located.

  3. This is without a doubt one of the strangest, most chaotic-looking skyscrapers I have ever seen.

  4. Mark Petaccio | August 23, 2021 at 7:47 am | Reply

    I started working at the W hotel September 11th 2017 I have so many pictures

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