The most dramatic skyscraper to join the Philadelphia skyline over the course of the past two years is the dual-branded W/Element Hotel, which stands at 1141 Chestnut Street in Center City, a block south of City Hall. Designed by Cope-Linder Architects and developed by Chestlen Development, the 617-foot-tall, 52-story structure combines a 460-room Element Hotel and a 295-room W Hotel. The building has stood largely finished for the past few months, as the Element Hotel opened in May and its dynamic nighttime illumination finishing its testing rounds. As of last week, we may officially declare the building as complete, as the W Hotel opened its doors on August 23rd.
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.
Yesterday, Philadelphia YIMBY’s First Anniversary Countdown, which looks at the most frequently mentioned article categories over the course of the past year, looked at Market East, which scored 35 category mentions. Today we visit a Market Street-anchored neighborhood on the opposite side of Center City, where Center City West noted 36 category mentions and as such arrived at number 21 in the countdown rankings. The forlorn neighborhood, a domain of block-spanning parking lots, garages, and otherwise underutilized properties, is the remaining development frontier of Center City, and is finally witnessing a major development surge, albeit one on a smaller scale than it deserves. Today we look at a few of the projects transforming its rather inhospitable streetscape into Philadelphia’s newest neighborhood.
Construction of the first few floors of the Thomas Jefferson Specialty Care Pavilion is underway at 1101 Chestnut Street in Center City. The building is a part of a project dubbed East Market Phase 3, which spans several blocks within the Market East neighborhood. Designed by Ennead Architects and Stantec and developed by National Real Estate Development, the tower will stand 372 feet and 23 stories tall and will feature a curvy exterior. The medical office building is part of the massive expansion plans that Jefferson Health is currently implementing in the area.
The 22nd place on Philadelphia YIMBY’s First Anniversary Countdown, which looks at the most frequently mentioned article categories over the course of the past year, goes to Market East. This Center City neighborhood, situated east of City Hall along Market Street, has seen rapid development over the past few years. The category owes its relatively high place on our ranking due to our consistent coverage of certain developments, notably East Market Phase 3, as well as analysis of architectural landmarks such as the PSFS Building.