The latest entry on Philadelphia YIMBY’s First Anniversary Countdown, which looks at the most frequently mentioned article categories over the course of the past year, found North Philadelphia‘s Northern Liberties neighborhood at the 18th place, out of the 1,800+ categories surveyed. Yesterday’s entry outlined at the neighborhood’s history and general composition. Today we look at Northeast Northern Liberties, a former industrial hotbed turned no-mans-land that is now rapidly transforming into a major urban hub, and some of the challenges that the emerging district still needs to address.
The Liberty Place complex is emblematic of the Philadelphia skyline as they played a key role in Center City‘s skyscraper growth. The towers currently stand 61 and 58 stories tall, with angled sharp crowns pointing toward to the sky, one tower capped with a tall and another with a short spire. The project was commissioned by Willard G. Rouse III of Rouse and Associates, who had originally pictured a $150 million 38-story tower rising to a height that measured somewhere under 500 feet. Just days after New Year’s Day in 1984, the building was first discussed in a publication about how Rouse won the bid for the site how it may become the city’s premier office tower. The architect, Helmut Jahn, was selected in March, and had produced a rapid succession of concepts under 500 feet, which eventually evolving well above that height. Today we share exclusive massing concepts of how the skyline would have looked if the towers were built to their originally planned height.
A year ago, the start of August marked the launch of Philadelphia YIMBY. We were excited to extend New York YIMBY’s years-long legacy of covering architecture, construction, and development to the City of Brotherly Love. Since that time, our staff has shared over 1,000 articles, covering a wide variety of topics that were cataloged into more than 1,800 categories. In celebration of Philly YIMBY’s first anniversary, we look at our most frequently tagged categories in a month-long series of articles that will run as a countdown that starts with the 31th most-popular category and will run until it hits number one. Today we begin our countdown by looking at Rittenhouse Square and Brewerytown, the two categories tied for the 31st place.
Philadelphia has had certain key years when skyscraper construction saw a notable surge, when many developments were underway at the same time. For instance, much of the current Center City skyline took form in and just after 1987. Another key year for construction took place in 2017, when various high-rise projects spanned multiple neighborhoods. Most of these developments stood under 500 feet, with some barely noticeable from afar, yet others added significant bulk to the skyline. The tallest skyscraper under construction was the Comcast Technology Center, the city’s first supertall tower and still the city’s tallest building. In this publication Philadelphia YIMBY looks back to when this collection of developments was underway four years ago.
In recent months, YIMBY shared multiple publications covering the historical status of the Philadelphia skyline. Though our massing renderings have gone all the way back to when City Hall stood alone in the skyline, the modern skyline largely came into being around 30 years ago, when developers finally dared to pass its 548-foot-high William Penn Statue. Philadelphia YIMBY presents our custom animation of the Philadelphia skyline rising between the years 1985 and 1990, when Center City received some of its most iconic skyscrapers.