Center City

Center City from South Philadelphia 2020 and 2021. Photos by Thomas Koloski

Comparing the 2020 And 2021 Skyline as Seen from South Philadelphia

Over the past year, Philadelphia YIMBY has showcased the skyline on a constant basis, which has seen nearly a decade of constant construction. A number of projects have spawned all around the city, producing massive growth. Center City of course receives the most developments, as it is the busiest neighborhood. Other nearby neighborhoods are also joining in on the growth, such as University City. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY compares sections of the Philadelphia skyline via photographs taken this and last year.

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The William Penn statue atop City Hall. Credit: James Mitchell via Wikipedia

Looking Back at the Former Proposal to Make the Statue of William Penn Atop City Hall Revolve

The 37-foot-tall statue of William Penn atop the City Hall clock tower brings the structure to a full height of 548 feet. As YIMBY discussed in yesterday’s story, the intended south-facing direction of the statue, crafted by sculptor Alexander Milne Calder, was changed at the last minute, and for nearly 127 years the figure has faced northeast. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY looks back at the onetime proposal to have the statue revolve around its axis so it could gaze upon the entire city.

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The William Penn statue atop City Hall. Photo by Thomas Koloski

Looking Back at the Originally Intended Placement of the Statue of William Penn atop City Hall

The statue of William Penn has stood at the very top of Philadelphia City Hall in Center City for well over a hundred years, facing northeast. The large figure of the Quaker was crafted by sculptor Alexander Milne Calder, who also produced the smaller statues just above the clock house and around the entire building. The 548-foot-tall Philadelphia City Hall was designed by John McArthur Jr. and Thomas Ustick Walter, renown architects of their time. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY takes a look back at the original southern direction the statue was supposed to face and at the subsequent change.

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PSFS Building unfinished design. Image via

YIMBY Presents Massing Renderings Of The Unfinished PSFS Building Design

Over the past few months, YIMBY has shared multiple publications on the PSFS Building covering its history and the process of the skyscraper’s design stage. The building is located at 1200 Market Street in Market East, Center City. Depending on the design, the structure may have ended up looking very differently if one of the past iterations went through. The building was designed by George Howe and William Edmond Lescaze, who originally weren’t partnered when George Howe created the first design. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY presents massing renderings of the PSFS Building when the design was nearly finalized, yet still unfinished.

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Center City towers from North Broad Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

One Liberty Place Lighting Nearly Complete with Upcoming Event in Center City

Over the course of the past few months, an upgrade of the decorative lighting system has been in progress at One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street in Center City, where the light strips that highlight the angled top of the tower are being reworked. Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn and developed by Rouse and Associates, the two massive skyscrapers of Liberty Place were the first in the Philadelphia skyline to boldly break past the informal 548-foot height limit established by the tower of City Hall nearly a century earlier.

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