As the weather has improved and your inclination to stroll around town has grown, perhaps you've noticed that the northeast corner of 16th & Walnut is now a construction site. After bricks from the adjacent building crashed through the roof of Lululemon at 1527 Walnut St. a little over a year ago, Pearl Properties purchased the property and demolished the one-story building with an eye toward a project called The Beacon.
The Beacon is the rare Philadelphia project that combines an older structure with an addition that envelops it. Pearl is renovating the building at the corner, originally home to the Brown Brothers Harriman investment bank, and constructing an addition next door and atop the old building to create something entirely new. The view from street level will be mostly the building that dates back to 1927 with a splash of a contemporary structure along Walnut Street. DAS Architects did the design work on this project, which will eventually contain a hundred apartments above an Under Armour store.
This project has been covered by numerous sources over the last number of months, with a particularly interesting take from Inga Saffron, covering the by-right nature of the project. Kudos to the developers, who are preserving and reusing an old building even though it isn't historically designated, making for a much more compelling piece of architecture. We tell you about it today because we're always fascinated by the way that tall buildings get built, and it's worth noting that the steel framing of the addition has progressed quite a bit since construction began in earnest a couple months back.
The project should wrap up some time next year, and should make for some great construction theater in the meantime.