YIMBY has presented extensive coverage on the development of the Philadelphia skyline over the decades. In its early years, church steeples, factory chimneys, and shot towers dominated the skyline, rising above numerous low-rise buildings. Office towers began to rise in the early twentieth century, as businesses flocked to Center City, and proliferated more rapidly in the following decades, particularly in the past 40 years. Today we present an animated rendering of the skyline, showing how the mass of skyscrapers had risen from 1901 to 2020. Each frame shows the towers under their current construction status for the year depicted.
Over the past few months, YIMBY has published multiple features on how the Philadelphia skyline grew over the years via custom-made three dimensional projections. In the past decade, numerous buildings have risen around Center City and beyond. Most of these have been constructed near City Hall and along Market Street, close to the main skyline core. Today we present animations of how the city skyline grew in a 115-year time span from 1905 to 2020.
Each year, the United States celebrates its birthday on July 4th, with evening fireworks being the highlight of the day. In Philadelphia, which was the nation’s capital between 1790 and 1800, a concert was held big name celebrities by the the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and fireworks, sponsored in large part by Wawa, launched as high as the Center City skyscrapers. The event was a tribute to America’s 245th birthday and the skyline was also lit up in the nations colors.
Over the past few years, a number of high-rises have ascended into the Philadelphia skyline. A number of developments are still under construction and have reached a point where they are already noticeable from many vantage points. These developments include the W/Element Hotel, Arthaus, and The Laurel Rittenhouse Square, with the latter two having cranes towering over the street. Today, Philly YIMBY tracks the rise of the skyline from Interstate 95, one of the busiest highways in the country.
The Philadelphia skyline itself had started in the heart of the city, with the Christ Church in Old City standing as the tallest structure in the city during the Revolutionary era. Though some tall structures have risen at an early date, such as the 143 foot tall Sparks Shot Tower at 129-131 Carpenter Street, which was in operation from 1808 to 1903, the skyline has dramatically transformed in the 1900s. Today Philadelphia YIMBY compares the skylines of 1905 and 2020 via massing renderings.