One Liberty Place

One Liberty Place Rainbow animated scheme from South Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

My Liberty Lights Program Is Underway at One Liberty Place

Over the course of the past two years, the decorative illumination at the crown of One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street in Center City has been under renovation, as it is being upgraded with powerful lights that can be animated into various schemes and colors. Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn and developed by Rouse and Associates (later known as the Liberty Property Trust), the tower was completed in 1987 and stands 945 feet and 61 stories tall. The contractor for the illumination upgrade is The Lighting Practice, which has also decorated the W/Element Hotel. The new lighting system is integrated with the My Liberty Lights program, which allows certain users to change the exterior lights atop the building once per day for a duration of five minutes.

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Center City towers from North Broad Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

One Liberty Place Lighting Nearly Complete with Upcoming Event in Center City

Over the course of the past few months, an upgrade of the decorative lighting system has been in progress at One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street in Center City, where the light strips that highlight the angled top of the tower are being reworked. Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn and developed by Rouse and Associates, the two massive skyscrapers of Liberty Place were the first in the Philadelphia skyline to boldly break past the informal 548-foot height limit established by the tower of City Hall nearly a century earlier.

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Philadelphia skyline lit up from South Philadelphia. Photo by Thomas Koloski

Observing the New Lighting Schemes in the Philadelphia Skyline

Last month, Philadelphia YIMBY reported on new lighting schemes that are decorating the nighttime skyline. Though it was already known that One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street and the W/Element Hotel at 1441 Chestnut Street, both located in Center City, are having their lighting tested, both now feature together in the skyline, with new programming visible to the residents of the city. The lights on One Liberty Place, which used to be dimmer and had sections of the lighting noticeably lit a different color, the lights have now been fixed and brightened. The W/Element Hotel used to be a dark skyscraper in the night time skyline with just the aviation warning lights noticeable, but now the skyscraper is lit up nearly as much as the FMC Tower in University City.

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One Liberty Place elevation and Helmut Jahn. Photo and image via JAHN

As the World Remembers Helmut Jahn, One Liberty Place Lights Up the Skyline

Philadelphia YIMBY often shares exciting and uplifting news regarding the city and its development. However, on May 8th, in Chicago, world-renowned architect Helmut Jahn was tragically killed in a road incident not far from his eponymous firm. According to the press, Jahn was biking near his home, 40 miles away from Chicago, when he was struck by two vehicles and was pronounced dead the next day at 81 years old. The architect was born on January 4, 1940 in Zindorf, Germany, and has designed an incredible amount of buildings between 1974 and 2017. In his lifetime, Jahn has produced unique and awe-inspiring designs throughout the world, which stood out as ahead of their time, and has left a dramatic imprint on the Philadelphia skyline.

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Philadelphia 1987 and 2020 south elevation. Model and image by Thomas Koloski

Philadelphia YIMBY Compares Massing Renderings of the 1987 and the 2020 Skyline

Over the decades, the Philadelphia skyline has seen many transformations with different iconic images, such as when City Hall stood all alone in the early 1900s. One of the key years in the high-rise history of the city is 1987, when One Liberty Place dramatically surpassed City Hall in height and opened later in the same year. Another key year is 2018, when the skyline gained its first supertall tower with the completion of the Comcast Technology Center. Today Philly YIMBY compares the skyline’s appearance in 1987 to its state in 2020.

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