Cira Center, Evo, and FMC Tower from South Street. Photo by Thomas Koloski

A Look Back at How FMC Tower Elevated the West Philadelphia Skyline

The 736-foot-tall, 49-story FMC Tower at 2929 Walnut Street has stood as one of the tallest towers in Philadelphia since its completion in 2017, with a sharp design that elevates the University City skyline to new heights once seen as barely imaginable for the area. Along with Evo and Cira Green, the tower has given West Philadelphia a dramatic profile with eye-catching good designs. The abovementioned skyscrapers have the same designer, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and all feature angled cuts. Developed by Brandywine Realty Trust, FMC Tower also displays distinctive curvy façades. Nighttime lighting with a red FMC logo topping the north and south faces adds an extra distinctive touch.

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3317 North 16th Street. Looking east. Credit: Google

Permits Issued for Multi-Family Structure at 3317 North 16th Street in the Temple University Hospital Area in North Central Philadelphia

A zoning permit has been issued for the construction of a multi-family structure at 3317 North 16th Street in the Temple University Hospital area in North Central Philadelphia. The building will rise 45 feet high and will replace a vacant lot on the east side of the block between West Westmoreland Street and Ontario Street. No unit count has been specified, though the proposed footprint of 2,389 square feet suggests a structure larger than the average for the block. 16th Street Capital Partn. is the listed owner.

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30th Station District Plan. Credit: SOM

Revisiting Visionary Plans for a 30th Street Station District Plan Supertall in University City, West Philadelphia

Several years ago, plans have been revealed for a major megadevelopment to be built on a new deck above the Amtrak railyard on the banks of the Schuylkill River in University City, West Philadelphia. The project is called the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan, as the first phase includes restoration of the historic 30th Street Station. Designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill and developed by Plenary Infrastructure Philadelphia, the master plan shows a large number of high-rises and a supertall skyscraper that would become the tallest, or one of the tallest, buildings in the city.

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A New High-Rise May Be Coming to 600 South University Avenue in University City, West Philadelphia

Demolition is nearly complete at a three-story budget motel at 600 South University Avenue (also known as 600 University Avenue) in West Philadelphia. Located directly on the Schuylkill River waterfront near the southernmost point in University City, the hotel was built in the postwar period and was once geared toward University of Pennsylvania visitors, and was later converted into a prison halfway house and was at times described as a “hot sheets” motel. The facility was eventually shuttered and the structure has stood vacant for years. However, Philly YIMBY’s site visit last weekend revealed that the building has almost been reduced to a pile of rubble. Given its generous zoning and location at a major university, medical, and office hub, the site may be slated for a large, and possibly high-rise, development.

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