In the mid-1940s, the Philadelphia skyline still maintained the general look it received during the construction boom of the 1920s and 1930, when several new towers added significant mass to the Center City skyline. The Philadelphia City Hall still topped the skyline at 548 feet tall, but by the 40s more high-rises were nearing the top of the clock tower, with several rising in the 300-foot range. A number of Art Deco buildings stood out, with predominantly light and dark brown shades. Today Philly YIMBY compares massing renderings of the 1945 skyline and the 2020 skyline.
During the 1920s, “the Roaring Twenties,” the nation saw a major economic boom that lasted nearly a decade, until it came crashing down in the 1930s with the Great Depression. Major cities were vibrant and illuminated, with ballrooms and theaters spreading around cities. The growth also positively affected the skylines of American cities, including that of Philadelphia, which saw the construction of multiple office buildings in Center City, mostly around Broad Street and Market Street.
In the 1960s, the Philadelphia skyline was on the verge of transformation as several massive towers were proposed at the end of the decade. In the mid-1960s, City Hall, topped by the William Penn Statue, ranking as the tallest building, with most other tall towers clustering in the vicinity. Over the next few decades, the Center City skyline has extended greatly to the east and west, with many dominant modern office towers surpassing City Hall. Today Philly YIMBY looks back and compares the skyline from 1965 skyline to its current form.
In October of last year, Philadelphia YIMBY published an extensive article covering developments that are under construction and proposed across the city. The visuals illustrated the future of the city’s skyline, coordinated in height in terms of placement of the new projects. Since, several new proposals have been revealed, a number of which will have an impact on the skyline. Today we present an updated version of the future appearance of the Philadelphia 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.