Over the past few months, YIMBY has published multiple features on how the Philadelphia skyline grew over the years via custom-made three dimensional projections. In the past decade, numerous buildings have risen around Center City and beyond. Most of these have been constructed near City Hall and along Market Street, close to the main skyline core. Today we present animations of how the city skyline grew in a 115-year time span from 1905 to 2020.
In the early 1900s, construction has just finished at Philadelphia City Hall (completed in 1901), with the clock tower dominating Center City. The skyline was not yet filled with massive towers. Instead, low- and mid-rise buildings made up the urban landscape. At the time, the city was growing rapidly, and a new generation of notable buildings was completed by the turn of the 20th century, including City Hall and the Masonic Temple. Today Philly YIMBY presents massing renderings of the Philadelphia skyline as it appeared all the way back in 1905.
Recently, Philadelphia YIMBY toured a pair of completed model units at the 18th floor of Arthaus, a 542-foot, 47-story residential skyscraper under construction at 311 South Broad Street in Center City. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, the tower will house 108 condominium units. The property is being was developed by Dranoff Properties, which also built and owns the Symphony House high-rise located across Broad Street to the southwest.
Philly YIMBY recently posted a brief overview of a $60 million expansion proposed at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center campus in University City, West Philadelphia. The main feature is an eight-story, 493,039-square-foot parking garage planned at 3800 Powelton Avenue. Designed and engineered by Pennoni and THA Consulting, the structure will roughly triple the amount of on-campus parking even while demolishing an existing four-story garage and reducing the total ground footprint used for parking. The project also involves the demolition of a seven-story treatment facility, as well as streetscape improvements and 6,460 square feet of new retail. Today we look at how the project shows that high-rise design benefits urban planning, no matter what function it takes, and why it may be a precursor to further development at the campus.
In the mid-1940s, the Philadelphia skyline still maintained the general look it received during the construction boom of the 1920s and 1930, when several new towers added significant mass to the Center City skyline. The Philadelphia City Hall still topped the skyline at 548 feet tall, but by the 40s more high-rises were nearing the top of the clock tower, with several rising in the 300-foot range. A number of Art Deco buildings stood out, with predominantly light and dark brown shades. Today Philly YIMBY compares massing renderings of the 1945 skyline and the 2020 skyline.