The Philadelphia skyline consists of a number of towers that shape the city’s image, with the Liberty Place in Center City towers among its key features. One Liberty Place and Two Liberty Place, addressed at 1650 Market Street and 50 South 16th Street, are located two blocks away from City Hall. The complex, which also includes a shopping center and a hotel, was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn (recently renamed to Jahn/) and developed by Willard G. Rouse III of Rouse and Associates, which had eventually evolved into Liberty Property Trust and developed both of the Comcast towers. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY presents detailed skyline massings of the 1987 Liberty Place iteration.
50 South 16th Street
Among the multiple structures that make up the Liberty Place complex, Two Liberty Place is the second tallest, rising 848 feet and 58 stories, yet it is the largest by area, with 1.2 million square feet. As such, the building is one of the most largest skyscrapers in Philadelphia, as the Comcast Center measures nearly 1.4 million square feet and the Comcast Technology Center holds 1.5 million square feet. Two Liberty Place is located near the heart of Center City at 50 South 16th Street. Just like the rest of Liberty Place, the tower was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn, who had unfortunately passed away in a bicycle crash in Chicago in May. The project was developed by Willard Rouse of Rouse and Associates, which eventually became Liberty Property Trust.
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.
The majority of the skyscrapers that dominate the Philadelphia skyline are the trophy towers that were built in the late 1980s. One of these buildings is the 848-foot-tall, 58-story Two Liberty Place at 50 South 16th Street in Center City, the city’s fourth-tallest building. The skyscraper is a part of the Liberty Place complex that consists of two towers connected by a mall and a hotel. The skyscraper was designed by Helmut Jahn, who also designed buildings such as MesseTurm in Frankfurt, Germany, 50 West Street in New York City, and the Bank of America Tower in Jacksonville, Florida, among many others. The developer of the project was Rouse and Associates, which eventually transformed into Liberty Property Trust, which built both of the Comcast skyscrapers that today dominate the skyline.
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.