The majority of Philadelphia’s tallest skyscrapers stand in Center City to the west of City Hall, which include the Comcast Technology Center at 1800 Arch Street. The supertall, which is the tallest building in the city, has risen into the skyline between 2014 and 2017. Designed by Foster + Partners, the tower’s structure is compromised of a central concrete core surrounded with a steel frame, with the facade mostly clad in glass and metal. The tower was developed by Liberty Property Trust, which collaborated with Comcast to erect their second tower in the city. In this article, Philadelphia YIMBY takes a look back to when the Comcast Technology Center was under construction at the time when the core had just topped out.
Comcast Technology Center
The Comcast Technology Center at 1800 Arch Street in Center City has dominated the Philadelphia skyline ever since it became the city’s tallest skyscraper in 2017. The tower rises 62 stories and 1,121 feet tall, topped with a bright beacon. The tower was designed by Norman Foster of Foster + Partners, who has done many well-known projects around the world notable for their exteriors of glass, metal, and decorative lighting. The developer of the project is Liberty Property Trust, which had also developed One Liberty Place when the company was known as Rouse and Associates under Willard Rouse. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY looks back at when the crane was first removed from the near-completed Comcast Technology Center.
The Comcast Technology Center at 1800 Arch Street in Center City was completed on August 12, 2019, when the hotel portion officially opened, becoming the tallest skyscraper in Philadelphia. The tower stands 1,121 feet and 60 stories tall, with a central concrete core and steel floor plates. The skyscraper was designed by Foster and Partners, which has designed several buildings that features metal highlights and bright lighting features, and developed by Liberty Property Trust, which used to be known as Rouse and Associates when Willard G. Rouse III ran the company before his death. Today YIMBY looks at the process of testing the lighting at the building’s lantern around the time of its completion.
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.
Over the decades, the Philadelphia skyline has seen many transformations with different iconic images, such as when City Hall stood all alone in the early 1900s. One of the key years in the high-rise history of the city is 1987, when One Liberty Place dramatically surpassed City Hall in height and opened later in the same year. Another key year is 2018, when the skyline gained its first supertall tower with the completion of the Comcast Technology Center. Today Philly YIMBY compares the skyline’s appearance in 1987 to its state in 2020.