From 1987 to 2007, the tallest building in the Philadelphia skyline was One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street in Center City, rising 945 feet and 61 stories tall, closely followed by the adjacent Two Liberty Place at 50 South 16th Street, which stands 848 feet and 58 stories tall and was completed in 1990. Designed by Helmut Jahn and developed by Rouse and Associates (later known as Liberty Property Trust), the Liberty Place complex features a fantastic glass, metal, and stone design. Today, Philadelphia YIMBY looks back at an earlier iteration of the complex when the towers were still in designing stages in 1984.
1650 Market Street
Over the course of the past two years, the decorative illumination at the crown of One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street in Center City has been under renovation, as it is being upgraded with powerful lights that can be animated into various schemes and colors. Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn and developed by Rouse and Associates (later known as the Liberty Property Trust), the tower was completed in 1987 and stands 945 feet and 61 stories tall. The contractor for the illumination upgrade is The Lighting Practice, which has also decorated the W/Element Hotel. The new lighting system is integrated with the My Liberty Lights program, which allows certain users to change the exterior lights atop the building once per day for a duration of five minutes.
The Liberty Place complex in Center City is known for being the first building in Philadelphia to dramatically break the unofficial 548-foot height limit that was set by the statue of William Penn on top of City Hall. Upon completion, One and Two Liberty Place were the tallest skyscrapers on the skyline, standing at a height of 945 and 848 feet, respectively. The towers were designed by Helmut Jahn and developed by Rouse and Associates, which eventually became Liberty Property Trust. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY takes a look back at a number of early iterations of the complex when the towers were planned to stand around or under 500 feet in height.
Over the course of the past few months, an upgrade of the decorative lighting system has been in progress at One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street in Center City, where the light strips that highlight the angled top of the tower are being reworked. Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn and developed by Rouse and Associates, the two massive skyscrapers of Liberty Place were the first in the Philadelphia skyline to boldly break past the informal 548-foot height limit established by the tower of City Hall nearly a century earlier.
Philadelphia YIMBY often shares exciting and uplifting news regarding the city and its development. However, on May 8th, in Chicago, world-renowned architect Helmut Jahn was tragically killed in a road incident not far from his eponymous firm. According to the press, Jahn was biking near his home, 40 miles away from Chicago, when he was struck by two vehicles and was pronounced dead the next day at 81 years old. The architect was born on January 4, 1940 in Zindorf, Germany, and has designed an incredible amount of buildings between 1974 and 2017. In his lifetime, Jahn has produced unique and awe-inspiring designs throughout the world, which stood out as ahead of their time, and has left a dramatic imprint on the Philadelphia skyline.