Center City

Broad Street Station with City Hall. Photo from City of Philadelphia, Department of Records

A Look Back at “the Chinese Wall,” an Elevated Viaduct that Once Ran Through Center City

In the late 1800’s, ten city blocks in Center City were converted into an elevated railroad spur that serviced multiple rail lines, connected to the Broad Street Station just to the west of City Hall, near the current space Dilworth Park. A massive train shed stood behind the station, rising multiple stories tall and prominent from many directions. Designed by the Wilson Brothers, the project was developed by the Pennsylvania Railroad and was completed on December 5, 1881. The centerpiece was a five-story Victorian Gothic headhouse facing City Hall.

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One Meridian Plaza (left) in the Philadelphia skyline. Photo via Daily Press

The Tragic Story of One Meridian Plaza

One Meridian Plaza was a 492-foot-tall, 38-story skyscraper that used to stand on the current site of the Residences at Ritz Carlton and the W/Element Hotel at 1416 South Penn Square in Center City, across from City Hall. The building began construction in 1968 and opened in 1972, just after the construction of the 1980’s skyscraper boom. Designed by Vincent and Kling and Associates and developed by Girard Bank and Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance, the tower was extensively damaged by a fatal fire in 1991 and demolished in 1999.

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Terrace on 18th Street. Image by Gabe Lui Architectural Renderings

Renovations Underway at The Terrace on 18th Street in Logan Square, Center City

Renovation is underway at the 27-story Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia Center City at 1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Logan Square, Center City. Upon completion, the circular tower that stands at the corner of North 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be a residential development called The Terrace on 18th Street. The building was originally completed back in 1963 designed by Oskar Stonorov of Korman Co. as an apartment building. In the 1980s it was converted into Embassy Suites, and now Pearl Properties is transforming the building back to a 288-unit apartment structure. Exterior renderings are done by Gabe Lui Architectural Renderings and the interiors are designed by DAS Architecture.

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Permits Issued for a Five-Unit Renovation at 1015 Clinton Street in Washington Square West, Center City

Permits have been issued for a five-unit renovation of a historic house at 1015 Clinton Street in Washington Square WestCenter City. The existing building holds a total of 4,495 square feet, a large amount of space for a single-family dwelling, so a five-unit multi-family conversion is logical. Barry Magarick and Rochelle H/W are the listed owners. Construction costs are estimated at $700,000.

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