1650 Market Street

One Liberty Place before topping of the spire. Photo from the Philadelphia Inquirer

Philly YIMBY Revisits the Topping-Out of the Spire atop One Liberty Place in Center City

The Liberty Place development in Center City holds a pivotal place in the Philadelphia skyline, having made a gigantic impact on the and the city’s image and its profile as a business hub. A pointed spire tops the tallest tower, the 945-foot-tall One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street, outfitted with broadcasting equipment. The complex was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn and developed by Rouse and Associates. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY shares images of One Liberty Place from the day the spire had topped out.

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Many more conceptual drawings of One Liberty Place. Drawings by Helmut Jahn

Looking Back at an Early Iteration of The Liberty Place Complex in Center City

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.

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One Liberty Place Rainbow animated scheme from South Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

My Liberty Lights Program Is Underway at One Liberty Place

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.

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Unfinished Liberty Place design model. Photo from Helmut Jahn

A Look at Early Iterations of Liberty Place When It Was Planned to Rise Under 500 Feet in Height

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.

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Center City towers from North Broad Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

One Liberty Place Lighting Nearly Complete with Upcoming Event in Center City

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.

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