Demolition work has been finished at 204 South 12th Street in Washington Square West, Center City, and a recent site visit observed an uptick in activity after a period of pause. Designed by BLT Architects, the tower will rise 32 stories tall and make a meaningful impact on the Philadelphia skyline. The development will hold 448 residential units, occupying 340,253 square feet of space and bringing significant density to the property. The project will also include 39,999 square feet of retail space, creating a significant commercial presence on 12th Street, and 68 underground parking spaces in a 41,380-square-foot garage.
Over the past 40 years, Center City has become home to multiple structures over the height of 500 feet. Philadelphia City Hall was the tallest structure in Philadelphia from 1894 to 1986 at 548, then in 1987 the steel structure of One-Liberty-Place eventually passed the statue to soon top out its spire at 945 feet. The same developers of Liberty Place also developed the next tallest skyscraper in the city, the 974-foot Comcast Center from 2007 to 2017. In 2017, across the street to the west, the Comcast Technology Center became the tallest skyscraper in the city since 2017 and its first supertall skyscraper at 1,121 feet. For this development, Comcast had partnered with Liberty Property Trust, which was originally known as Rouse and Associates. The tower was designed by Foster and Partners, which has designed iconic structures such as the Gherkin in London and the Hearst Tower in Midtown Manhattan. Today Philly YIMBY looks back at the period when the iconic tower’s spire topped out.
In the mid-1940s, the Philadelphia skyline still maintained the general look it received during the construction boom of the 1920s and 1930, when several new towers added significant mass to the Center City skyline. The Philadelphia City Hall still topped the skyline at 548 feet tall, but by the 40s more high-rises were nearing the top of the clock tower, with several rising in the 300-foot range. A number of Art Deco buildings stood out, with predominantly light and dark brown shades. Today Philly YIMBY compares massing renderings of the 1945 skyline and the 2020 skyline.
Site prep activity has been spotted at 316-20 South 11th Street in Washington Square West, Center City. Nine townhomes are expected at the site. The project involves the demolition of an existing three-story parking garage. Demolition permits were issued in late January, so progress has been relatively slow since that time.
The Delaware River Trail that sits just next to the site of the recently proposed Penn’s Landing redevelopment is underway in between the public space and the Interstate 95. The project is a part the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, which will extend and enhance the waterfront. Developed by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, the project will feature open space extending for six miles along the Delaware River from Oregon Avenue in South Philadelphia to East Allegheny Avenue in Kensington, with the trail divided into four zones. The public space will feature new vegetation and planting, bi-directional bicycle lanes, solar lighting, and improved public access to the trail.