Multiple highways around Center City offer great perspectives of the Philadelphia skyline. One of the best vantage points located along the Interstate 95, which presents a look at the skyline where the towers scatter in broad view from east to west, with underway developments in multiple neighborhoods easy to pinpoint. Of course, the Center City skyscrapers stand out prominently, and even smaller towers rising in Center City West can be seen from the view.
The majority of the skyscrapers that dominate the Philadelphia skyline are the trophy towers that were built in the late 1980s. One of these buildings is the 848-foot-tall, 58-story Two Liberty Place at 50 South 16th Street in Center City, the city’s fourth-tallest building. The skyscraper is a part of the Liberty Place complex that consists of two towers connected by a mall and a hotel. The skyscraper was designed by Helmut Jahn, who also designed buildings such as MesseTurm in Frankfurt, Germany, 50 West Street in New York City, and the Bank of America Tower in Jacksonville, Florida, among many others. The developer of the project was Rouse and Associates, which eventually transformed into Liberty Property Trust, which built both of the Comcast skyscrapers that today dominate the skyline.
Permits have been issued for the construction of the Thomas Jefferson Specialty Care Pavilion at 1101-53 Chestnut Street in Market East, Center City. Developed by National Real Estate Development, the structure will rise 364 feet and 23 stories tall, becoming the tallest addition to the neighborhood in more than three decades. The interior will hold 750,000 square feet of space, most of which will be allocated for medical use by Jefferson Health. The structure is part of the two-tower East Market Phase 3 complex, which is the latest extension to the multi-block East Market development. Philly YIMBY covered the project in extensive detail in a recent feature article.
In recent weeks, the Laurel Rittenhouse Square has been rising at a steady pace, and is now leaving an imposing presence on the Philadelphia skyline. The tower, located at 1911 Walnut Street in Rittenhouse Square, Center City, is growing to reach a final height of 599 feet and 48 floors. Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz and developed by the Southern Land Company, the skyscraper will hold 160 rental apartment units and 85 luxury units.
In the 1980s, new skyscraper proposals surged after the proposed Liberty Place project was poised to break the 548-foot height limit established by the tower of City Hall. Five of the proposals now stand in the skyline, which include the 739-foot-tall Bell Atlantic Tower at 1717 Arch Street in Logan Square, Center City. Designed by Kling Lindquist, the setbacks of the 55-story skyscraper were partially inspired by structures such as the Empire State Building and One Liberty Place, which itself is similar to the Chrysler Building. Brandywine Realty Trust has owned the skyscraper since 2010, and is now officially known as Three Logan Square. Today Philly YIMBY looks at the alternate designs that were once considered for the structure.