After a rapid excavation, the foundation for 2222 Market Street in Center City West is nearly complete. The building will rise to a total height of 318 feet and 20 stories above the ground. Designed by Gensler and developed by Parkway Commercial Properties, the tower will feature a glass façade with stone highlights and glass, along with public space and amenity space. The building will stand at the former site of a 21,000-square-foot parking lot, which was also owned by the developer.
In the late 1980s, in rapid succession, a series of skyscrapers broke through the long-held “Gentlemen’s Agreement” that unofficially restricted Philadelphia’s buildings from rising above the 548-foot-tall pinnacle of City Hall, creating the now-iconic skyline of Center City. While the skyscraper cluster transformed the area to the west of City Hall, the Market East district to the east continues to lag behind in terms of an imposing skyline. However, East Market Phase 3, developed by National Real Estate Development as part of the East Market complex and currently under construction at 1101-53 Chestnut Street, will boost the local skyline with a pair of towers rising 364 and 288 feet tall. The buildings will bring one million square feet of medical office, residential, and retail space to the neighborhood, and add a sizable public plaza. Today we take a detailed look at the transformative project.
The PNB Building at One South Broad Street in Center City was originally built as a massive addition to the Wanamaker’s at 1300 Market Street, just to the west of the department store. The building was originally called the Lincoln-Liberty Building, though today the structure is known as One South Broad. The 465,000-square-foot building stands 28 stories tall and rises to a height of 478 feet. The tower was designed by John Torrey Windrim, who also designed the Franklin Institute, which was completed in 1934. The building features a wide profile from the east and west and a setbacked crown that steps up to a bell tower that holds the 17-ton Founder’s Bell. The tower’ cornerstone was placed on October 1, 1931, shortly before the nearby Wanamaker Men’s Store opened over a week later on October 12, 1932.
In the 1970s the Philadelphia skyline was on the rise, with bulky new office towers being constructed throughout Center City. At this time, the “Gentlemen’s Agreement” was untouched, as every structure stood below the height of the statue of William Penn at the top of City Hall. New high-rises were adding substantial amounts of office space and dominated the previous structures that stood out in the skyline, and featured various designs with stone, metal, and glass cladding. Philadelphia YIMBY presents massing renderings of the skyline as it stood in 1975, when Brutalist architecture dominated much of the financial district, including the area around City Hall.
The large GIANT supermarket located on the first two levels of the Riverwalk north tower at 60 North 23rd Street has officially opened, bringing a new shopping hub to Center City West. Designed by Gensler and developed by PMC Property Group, the tower stands prominent at the Schuylkill River Trail, and the way the façade takes in daylight in a dramatic fashion, with metal cladding manipulating creating different shades. The two-tower project will have 711 units, and the shorter north tower will have 331 units above the podium floors. The tower, which replaces a large parking lot, stands 315 feet tall and 28 stories above ground.