Recently, Philadelphia YIMBY went on a tour of one of the highest condominium floors at The Laurel Rittenhouse, a 48-story residential tower under construction at 1911 Walnut Street in Rittenhouse Square, Center City. Designed by Solomon Cornwell Buenz and developed by Southern Land Company, the skyscraper is nearing its final height of 599 feet, and work is expected to begin soon on the cross-braced crown. The tower will house 185 rental units in the lower portion and 64 condos in the upper section.
The tour starts at the sales gallery, which is located at 1845 Walnut Street. Here, a scale model of the skyscraper and a 3D fly-though presentation are shown before entering The Laurel. After entering through a gate on the north side of the site, the tour makes its way to temporary construction elevators, which offer a ride that is nearly as smooth as that in a conventional skyscraper elevator. The ride stops at the 41st floor, the highest accessible floor, situated seven floors under the highest slab that is under construction.
The first view opens to the west, where the steel structure of 2222 Market Street is visible, as well as Riverwalk and the Bulletin Building at Schuylkill Yards. The view of South Philly was partially obscured due to smoke and haze, which came from wildfires in the West Coast and Canada. The view to the northeast may be what future residents will dub the greatest view, where the Center City towers, perfectly lined up, make for an unforgettable vista.