Between 1984 and 1987, a new monolith was constructed in the city of Philadelphia. For a long time the skyline was dominated by beige and brown buildings along with City Hall, but the blue-glass One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street in Center City has broken out of the blocky and old styles and also broke the unofficial 548-foot height limit. Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn and developed by Willard Rouse of Rouse and Associates, the tower rises 945 feet and stands 61 stories tall. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY looks back at One Liberty Place shortly after its completion.
This year, Philadelphia is about to say “Yes In My Back Yard” to new development on an unprecedented scale. Over the course of last year, the Department of Licenses and Inspections issued a slew of permit approvals that may result in the construction of approximately 10,000 new rental units, roughly triple the number of the average total per typical year. Moreover, during the same period, a total of 90 proposed developments went before the Civic Design Review (CDR) board, which makes non-binding suggestions for projects that meet certain criteria depending on size and location. The number roughly doubles the average yearly volume and has set a record for CDR submission history.
High-rise development offer numerous advantages, including efficient use of valuable urban real estate, environmental benefits through resource use economies of scale and conservation of land, and dense, transit-friendly and pedestrian-favorable environments that create thriving cities. Then, of course, there are the lofty views that are available to dwellers of sky-high aeries. Using the formula of D = 1.22459 x Sqrt (H + 5.58), where D equals distance and H stands for the height of the building’s highest floor and 5.58 represents 5′-7″, the height of the average US adult in feet, we can calculate the longest unobstructed view distances on a clear day from any building level. Today YIMBY offers a comparison of views and view distances from the highest floors of some of the tallest buildings on the Philadelphia skyline.
Philadelphia is home to several tall skyscrapers in Center City, with One Liberty Place among the most iconic in the group. The steel-framed tower rises at 1650 Market Street to a height of 945 feet and 61 stories above the ground. The skyscraper was designed by Helmut Jahn, who has unfortunately passed in May of last year, as part of the Liberty Place project developed by Rouse and Associates. At the moment, only two observatories operate in the city, as one has closed last year. Today we look at views from theh currently closed One Liberty Observation Deck, located on the 57th floor in the skyscraper’s gabled crown.
Updated plans have recently been released for Two Cathedral Square, a 470-foot-tall, 34-story mixed-use commercial and residential tower planned at 227 North 18th Street in Logan Square. Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz and developed by EQT Exeter, with Studio Bryan Hanes handling landscape design, the 700,000-square-foot-plus building is the largest component of Cathedral Square, a redevelopment master plan for the block-sized archdiocesan campus centered on the iconic Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Today YIMBY takes a closer look at the most recent iteration of Center City’s latest trophy tower.