We Give Up, What’s Up With the AT&T Building?

Near Center City, the waterfront of the Schuylkill River has improved by leaps and bounds in the last decade. The Schuylkill River Trail is wonderful. Penn Park took acres of dusty rail yards and turned them green. And plans are moving forward for a new CHOP facility that could make the stretch below the South Street Bridge far more attractive for locals and employees alike. But there's one millstone around the neck of the waterfront. And that's the AT&T Building.

From the South Street Bridge

From the base of the bridge

It's huge. It's ugly. And we have never seen anyone come in or out. Thought the 1960s, the southern side of the parcel contained a brick, wood, and iron storage yard. The northern side was home to Standard Ice Dairies. At some point in the last fifty years, we'd guess in the 1970s, this horrible building was erected. It's aged about as well as a terrible, mostly windowless building can age. Which is to say, poorly.

At one of the CHOP meetings we attended, one of their reps alluded to the fact that this building may be for sale, but we've heard nothing about that since or from other sources. If AT&T were to sell this property to a developer, we could see a wonderful opportunity for a mixed-use project with phenomenal river views. More likely, though, we'll be saddled with this crap building for the next however many decades. But still, we can dream of a day that this building comes down. We just hope we live to see that day.