The Philadelphia skyline consists of a number of towers that shape the city’s image, with the Liberty Place in Center City towers among its key features. One Liberty Place and Two Liberty Place, addressed at 1650 Market Street and 50 South 16th Street, are located two blocks away from City Hall. The complex, which also includes a shopping center and a hotel, was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn (recently renamed to Jahn/) and developed by Willard G. Rouse III of Rouse and Associates, which had eventually evolved into Liberty Property Trust and developed both of the Comcast towers. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY presents detailed skyline massings of the 1987 Liberty Place iteration.
One Liberty Place
The Liberty Place complex, which consists of One Liberty Place and Two Liberty Place are located at 1650 Market Street and 50 South 16th Street in Center City, has anchored the Philadelphia skyline ever since it was completed in 1990. However, at one point, the final form of the buildings was meant to look very different. The groundbreaking project was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn (now known as Jahn/), who had hand-drawn a massive quantity of possibilities for the city block. The project was developed by Rouse and Associates, as Willard G. Rouse, who was adamant about raising the skyline above Philadelphia City Hall as he believed that William Penn himself would appreciate the city’s progress. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY shares our latest skyline massings of a heavily detailed model of the 1985 iteration of Liberty Place.
As the 35th anniversary for the topping-out of One Liberty Place‘s spire was commemorated, Philadelphia YIMBY has assembled a high-quality model of the skyscraper. Located at 1650 Market Street in Center City, the tower is a milestone in the skyline and Philadelphia history as it broke free of the height limit once set by City Hall and improved the city’s image. While heavily criticized by some at the time of proposal, the office tower was eventually given the green light to stand 61 stories high and 945 feet tall. The tower and the second phase of the project was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn and developed by Willard G. Rouse III of Rouse and Associates. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY observes an accurately detailed model of One Liberty Place on the 1987 skyline massing.
On May 13, 1985, celebrations were held for the groundbreaking for the first phase of the Liberty Place complex in Center City, with another office tower, mall, and hotel under construction by February 1988. The towers, located at 1650 Market Street and 50 East 16th Street, were designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn. Originally One Liberty Place was meant to stand 915 feet, while the shorter Two Liberty Place was proposed to rise 708 feet and 48 stories tall. The project was developed by Willard G. Rouse III of Rouse and Associates, which had eventually transformed into Liberty Property Trust. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY shares revised versions of our custom-made skyline massings of the 1985 Liberty Place design.
The idea of building higher than the William Penn statue atop Philadelphia City Hall was roundly rejected by city planners and the public for a long time. Boldly, in 1983, Willard G. Rouse III of Rouse and Associates bought a large plot of land and scouted for an architect to design a pair of limit-breaking towers. In April 1984, a proposal was revealed to the city, which was met with with heavy opposition, though the decision to go ahead with the project was eventually approved via a vote. In May 1985, the official designs by Helmut Jahn were revealed at the groundbreaking, inaugurating the construction of two office towers and a hotel, which lasted from 1985 and 1990 and changed the Philadelphia skyline in the process. Although Philly YIMBY has already looked at One Liberty Place shortly after completion, today we take look at more perspectives of the iconic structure from the time when it finished construction.