The iconic Philadelphia skyline has dramatically expanded since the completion of One Liberty Place in 1987. Philly YIMBY presents exclusive massing renderings of the 1987 skyline, reflecting the beginning of a period that saw rapid development in Center City.
Philly YIMBY’s “unbuilt” series continues with Mandeville Place, a slender, 607-foot-tall high-rise proposed at 2401 Walnut Street in Center City West in the mid-2000s. Designed by Richard Meier & Partners Architects and developed by Bedrock Group LLC, the 43-story skyscraper would have joined an existing eight-story building to the south, which would have been converted into hotel space. A shared amenity rooftop was planned between the two structures. The tower would have featured 45 condominium units that would have offered dramatic views of the skyline.
Today’s entry in Philly YIMBY’s ongoing “unbuilt” series is the Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences Philadelphia, proposed at 1441 Chestnut Street in Center City, where the W/Element Hotel is now nearing completion. The 567-foot-tall, 59-story tower would have occupied the south side of the site of the former One Meridian Plaza, a 492-foot-tall office skyscraper damaged by a lethal fire in 1991 and demolished in 1999 (yesterday YIMBY covered a supertall structure proposed earlier at the site). Like the W/Element Hotel, the Waldorf Astoria iteration was also designed by Cope-Linder Architects, though the developers at the time were Mariner Commercial Properties, Inc. and Gatehouse Capital Corporation. The tower would have featured 181 hotel rooms and 126 residences.
In the late 1990’s, a massive supertall was planned at the site of the 492-foot-tall One Meridian Plaza, an office skyscraper damaged by a fatal fire in 1991 and demolished in 1999. The proposed Center City Tower at 1414 South Penn Square in Center City would have been built where The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton and the under-construction W/Element Hotel currently stand. Designed by Kling Lindquist, the 1,050-foot tower would have become the first supertall skyscraper in Philadelphia, rather than the Comcast Technology Center, which took the title 20 years later. Notably, Comcast was also considering taking office space at Center City Tower, and the cable company’s decision to pull out of the project and to build Comcast Center at 17th and Arch Street instead was a major reason behind the supertall’s cancellation.
Yesterday Philly YIMBY published a feature story covering the 1,050-foot-tall Philadelphia World Trade Center supertall planned at 456 North Christopher Columbus Boulevard on the Delaware River waterfront in Northern Liberties in 1988. After the proposal fell through, developer Carl Marks Real Estate Group contracted Alesker & Dundon Architects to redesign the project as four shorter yet still impressive skyscrapers, which were to take up most of the 5.5-acre site. The development would now be known as World Trade Square, and later as Renaissance Plaza.