Between 1984 and 1987, a new monolith was constructed in the city of Philadelphia. For a long time the skyline was dominated by beige and brown buildings along with City Hall, but the blue-glass One Liberty Place at 1650 Market Street in Center City has broken out of the blocky and old styles and also broke the unofficial 548-foot height limit. Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn and developed by Willard Rouse of Rouse and Associates, the tower rises 945 feet and stands 61 stories tall. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY looks back at One Liberty Place shortly after its completion.
Permits have been issued for the construction of a four-story, eight-unit mixed-use building at 2034 North Front Street in Kensington. The structure will replace a vacant lot on the west side of the block between West Norris Street and Diamond Street, next to the Market-Frankford Line el. The building will rise from a 1,700-square-foot footprint and will span 8,086 square feet of interior space, which translates to an average of around 1,000 square feet per apartment. The development will feature 540 square feet of ground-level retail and a cellar. The roof deck promises to offer views of the skyline. Permits list the Estate of Anna Reinman as the owner, Christopher Carickhoff as the design professional, and V2 Properties Construction Management LLC as the contractor. Construction costs are listed at $1.38 million.
The city of Philadelphia and the surrounding region offers ample vantage points for viewing the skyline. The more distant views often show a clear perspective of a large swath of the growing skyline, offering various angles that go unseen angles from within the city itself. These views clearly show the new vertical mass being added to Center City and beyond, with tower cranes visible in various locations. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY observes various new projects rising into the skyline from a vantage point in New Jersey to the southeast of Center City.
In August 2020, Philadelphia YIMBY reported that permits were filed for the demolition of a historically designated four-story building at 107 Chestnut Street in the Old City Historic District in Center City, half a block away from Penn’s Landing. The structure was built in 1840, at a time when the neighborhood bustled with maritime commercial activity, and was one of the last remaining buildings on the street’s old mercantile row. The Philadelphia Historical Commission approved the demolition after engineering experts declared the structure unsafe yet required that the owner rebuild the historic edifice in its original form within a year. However, YIMBY’s recent site visit reveals that the structure’s former site still sits cleared and paved over with no signs of new construction, perched next to its lone prewar neighbor that stands surrounded by a parking lot.
Philadelphia YIMBY’s recent site visit revealed that construction work has not yet started on the 15-story, 150-room AC Hotel by Marriott at 230 North 13th Street in Chinatown, Center City. Developed by Baywood Hotels, the development will add a vertical extension atop the existing prewar building, bringing the structure’s total height to 181 feet. Permits were issued in May of last year and the building currently stands vacant, though construction work has not apparently started yet.