In 1985, the "gentleman's agreement" to not build anything taller than William Penn's hat atop City Hall was broken when construction began on One Liberty Place. Twenty years later, work started on the Comcast Building, which eventually rose even higher. And three years after that, plans were announced for the American Commerce Center at 1800 Arch St., which would rise over 1,500 feet, dwarfing the Comcast Building. But alas, the best laid plans are sometimes not fulfilled.
The building that never was
Yesterday, Comcast and Liberty Property Trust announced that they're teaming up to build the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center on the ACC site, which has been a surface parking lot for many years. The CITC will rise 59 stories, and 1,121 feet in the air. The bottom floors will house Comcast employees along with NBC10, Telemundo, and technology startups. The middle of the building will feature some kind of multi-story food court with an entertainment center, the next eighteen stories will contain a relocated Four Seasons Hotel, and the top of the building will boast a restaurant with the best views in town. The renderings show a building shorter than the ACC, but still pretty boss.
Philadelphia has quite a few unique buildings, but are they as unique as we think? With July 4th coming up, we looked around the world to find architectural tributes to Philadelphia's Liberty One. Apparently, our beloved height-limit killer is pretty popular. Having itself been inspired by New York's Chrysler Building, it should be no surprise that it’s been copied elsewhere.
Melli Complex in Tehran, Iran
This building is much shorter and features different colors, but it's still eerily similar. It even has a copy of the Mellon Bank Center in the background!
Edificio Cruz Blanca in Santiago, Chile
The colors are a little closer but the shape and massing of the building are a bit different.
But wait, there's more! Check out these TWO imitators from China.