About half a year ago, we called your attention to the slow and methodical demolition of Penn Tower, at the intersection where HUP meets CHOP meets the Penn Museum. As we told you previously, Penn Tower was originally built as a hotel but slowly transitioned to a HUP office building. Architecturally, it was straight out of 1975 and not a day has gone by since its demolition that we've missed it even a little bit. We zipped over to its former location at 1 Convention Ave. and snapped a couple of photos the other day, and then a police office asked us to move out of the emergency area and we felt a wee bit guilty. But we got our shots which show the building is now gone.
You may remember, we told you that HUP was planning a new hospital tower for this location and we shared some preliminary renderings which felt, to us, like images of an Embassy Suites Hotel from the 1990s.
The project is going to Civic Design Review later this month and we've found new details and renderings in the CDR packet. The new building will include 500 patient rooms and 47 operating/interventional spaces. In addition, it will contain a new emergency department. We told you before, this will almost double the capacity of the hospital, so this is a huge project ostensibly worth its $1.5B price tag.
We're pleased to share the new renderings from Foster + Partners, which we'd suggest are a major step up from the initial effort. Assuming the look of the project stays relatively close to the CDR packet, it'll appear more like a spaceship than a hotel from the 1990s. We'll call that progress.
What do you think about Penn Medicine's new Patient Pavilion? Do you like the revised renderings, or did you prefer the renderings we shared a few months ago? Are you excited that one of the region's top hospitals is undertaking a massive expansion? Or would you prefer they direct their money and attention toward day to day patient care? One thing we mentioned before, this expansion should mean a host of new jobs created at HUP in the coming years, and that's certainly good news for our fine town. And, uh, if you've got some major surgery on the horizon, maybe see if you can hold out 'til 2021. After all, who doesn't like getting some surgery done in a sweet new building?