Skyline massing

Unfinished Liberty Place design model. Photo from Helmut Jahn

Visualizing the Under-500-Foot-Tall Early Iterations of Liberty Place on the Skyline

The Liberty Place complex is emblematic of the Philadelphia skyline as they played a key role in Center City‘s skyscraper growth. The towers currently stand 61 and 58 stories tall, with angled sharp crowns pointing toward to the sky, one tower capped with a tall and another with a short spire. The project was commissioned by Willard G. Rouse III of Rouse and Associates, who had originally pictured a $150 million 38-story tower rising to a height that measured somewhere under 500 feet. Just days after New Year’s Day in 1984, the building was first discussed in a publication about how Rouse won the bid for the site how it may become the city’s premier office tower. The architect, Helmut Jahn, was selected in March, and had produced a rapid succession of concepts under 500 feet, which eventually evolving well above that height. Today we share exclusive massing concepts of how the skyline would have looked if the towers were built to their originally planned height.

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Ultra Labs at University City. Image via Scheer Partners

Floor Plans Revealed for Ultra Labs University City in University City, West Philadelphia

Floor plans have been recently revealed for Ultra Labs University City at 125 North 32nd Street in University City, West Philadelphia. Developed by the Republic Properties and Scheer Partners, the structure will rise 190 feet and 19 stories tall and will contain 185,279 square feet of interior space. The mixed-use building will combine laboratory and office space, joining the many lab buildings located throughout University City.

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PSFS Building unfinished design. Image via

YIMBY Presents Massing Renderings Of The Unfinished PSFS Building Design

Over the past few months, YIMBY has shared multiple publications on the PSFS Building covering its history and the process of the skyscraper’s design stage. The building is located at 1200 Market Street in Market East, Center City. Depending on the design, the structure may have ended up looking very differently if one of the past iterations went through. The building was designed by George Howe and William Edmond Lescaze, who originally weren’t partnered when George Howe created the first design. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY presents massing renderings of the PSFS Building when the design was nearly finalized, yet still unfinished.

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Philadelphia skyline with unbuilt proposals looking northeast. Image and models by Thomas Koloski

Philadelphia YIMBY Presents Updated Massings Of The Unbuilt Philadelphia Skyline

In March, YIMBY shared exclusive renderings of the Philadelphia skyline featuring several unbuilt skyscrapers that would have made the city appear quite different from its current look. The conceptual massing shows the possibilities that never happened, though they remain archived by the original architects and now also by our publications. Numerous projects have been canceled in the city over the years, including the American Commerce Center, a tower once proposed in Center City that would have stood taller than the Comcast Technology Center. Today we present updated massing renderings of the Philadelphia skyline with many projects that remain unbuilt.

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Fourth scheme of the PSFS Building. Image via George Howe and William Edmond Lescaze

YIMBY Presents Massing Renderings of the Fourth Design for the PSFS Building

In the past month, YIMBY has posted multiple publications on the PSFS Building and its history. The building stands at 1200 Market Street in Market East, Center City, with a height of 491 feet that dominates the local skyline even now, and did even more so when it was recently built. The tower was designed by George Howe and William Lescaze, who drew up several designs of the building prior to construction. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY shares the fourth iteration of the PSFS Building, which also had a physical model built.

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