Center City West is a section of Center City located roughly between 21st, Chestnut, and Arch streets and the Schuylkill River. For decades, the neighborhood was comprised primarily of parking lots, yet in recent years the area has been on the rise with a large number of projects that have recently been completed, underway, and proposed. The largest developments that have originally been completed in the neighborhood are the PECO Building, completed in 1970, and the Aramark Headquarters which renovated the structure of an existing building at 2400 Market Street in 2019. With Aramark relocating its headquarters to the neighborhood, the company saw the potential of the area’s growth. 2222 Market Street, the first development of the new construction wave was revealed in 2019, and is currently underway.
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.
For years, Philadelphia YIMBY has published in-house-made skyline massings, of old developments and new proposals alike, and today we bring another project to our readers. Recently, images of a new Virgin Hotels development proposal have surfaced, showing two new buildings at 500 South Broad Street in Rittenhouse SquareCenter City. Shown in renderings are a taller tower standing 36 floors and a shorter tower rising 23 stories. The project is being designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill and developed by The Badger Group, Dranoff Properties, The Goldenberg Group LLC, and Virgin Hotels, which will have their logo displayed on the north tower. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY presents our skyline massings of the Virgin Hotel towers.
A surge of development in Center City West is poised to change the neighborhood in the near future. One of these additions is the recently redesigned proposal at 2300-24 Market Street. The original plan was more massive and held residential space, and would have risen 202 feet and 14 stories high. The original iteration was designed by Tantillo Architecture and developed by Lubert-Alder, but now KieranTimberlake and Breakthrough Properties have collaborated to bring the new iteration. The building will now stand at a noticeably shorter height, with a confirmed floor count of nine floors, along with the buildings purpose shifting to office and lab space. Today we share YIMBY’s own skyline massings of the development.