Comcast Technology Center

Comcast Technology Center 2014 and current design from Spring Garden Street Bridge. Left: image by Foster and Partners. Right: Photo by Thomas Koloski

Comparing The 2014 and Final Design of The Comcast Technology Center

Soon after the completion of the 973-foot-tall Comcast Center in 2008, which stood as the tallest building in Philadelphia, local residents and outside watchers wondered what was next for the city skyline. Almost six years later, on January 15, 2014, the design for the Comcast Technology Center, then known as the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, was revealed to the public. The tower would become the new tallest skyscraper in Philadelphia, planned to stand 1,121 feet tall at 1800 Arch Street in Center City, across the street from the previous record-holder. The design by Foster and Partners was an unfinished version of the current building, as many portions of the building had to be finalized. The developer of the Comcast Technology Center is Liberty Property Trust, which met its fate when it was purchased by Prologis Inc. In this YIMBY feature, we compare the 2014 design and the current version of the skyscraper using renderings, architectural models, and photographs.

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Comcast Technology Center under construction July 2016. Photo by Thomas Koloski

Observing the Comcast Technology Center After the Topping Out of the Concrete Core

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.

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Observing the Comcast Technology Center Shortly After Crane Removal

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.

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Comcast Technology Center lantern testing from Pennsauken. Photo by Thomas Koloski

Looking Back At The Testing Of The Lantern On The 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.

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Observing The Comcast Technology Center Shortly After Topping Out

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.

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