In 1984, the unwritten Gentleman’s Agreement that forbade building above the 548-foot-high statue of William Penn atop City Hall was about to be eliminated when, in April, developer Willard Rouse proposed a skyscraper development that eventually became Liberty Place. The proposal apparently influenced more developers and architects to build towers above the former height limit. The Commerce Square twin towers were revealed at 2005 Market Street in Center City at the end of the year. Designed by I.M. Pei and Partners and developed by IBM and Maguire/Thomas Partners, the 41-story towers were not built simultaneously, as One Commerce Square was the first building finished in the complex.
A massive parking garage that took up nearly an entire block is mostly demolished at 123 South 12th Street in Market East, Center City. The large residential building, dubbed 12 + Sansom, will make a positive impact on the area with its addition of 412 residential units. Designed by Studios Architecture and Bower Lewis Thower Architects and developed by Greystar Real Estate Partners, the building will stand 265 feet and 20 stories tall, a significant height for the neighborhood, though more residential towers are on their way to join the area.
A large parking garage at 900 Locust Street in Washington Square West, Center City, is now closed and is expected to be demolished to make way for the Jefferson University Caroline Kimmel Biomedical Research Center. The building will stand 170 feet and 12 stories tall and contain over 220,000 square feet of space. Designed by Payette, the building will feature a glass and wood-colored facade.
A few months ago, during the beginning of spring, Philadelphia YIMBY published a feature that looked at major developments in Center City from the Walt Whitman Bridge. This 378-foot-tall, green-painted suspension bridge was completed in 1957, and has since transported millions of people between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The bridge span rises 153 feet above the Delaware River, and offers a fantastic view of the skyline to the northwest. The western side connects to the sports complex in South Philadelphia, while the east side joins Gloucester City, NJ. In this new feature, Philadelphia YIMBY presents an updated look at several major developments in the skyline as seen from the bridge.
The steel structure of the office building under construction at 2222 Market Street, in Center City West, is nearly topped out. Designed by Gensler, he building is one of the tallest among the city’s under-construction buildings, as it will rise to a height of 318 feet and 20 stories. The project is being developed by Parkway Commercial Properties, which has recently been redeveloping multiple parking lots that it owns. The building will fill an empty void on Market Street, and offers a preview of what is to come to the area in the future.