A decade from now, the face of University City will be one lined with new features and high-rise development. Most recently, Drexel celebrated the completion of its new $92M 12-story LeBow Hall at 32nd & Market. The school has a green roof, a Green Globe certificate and includes LeBow College’s five centers.

In the past. Image by Chris Cowen

Current view

Two years ago, the new LeBow building was the site of Matheson Hall, a standard square institutional building. We’ve covered the process from demolition, to the release of the designs of the structure that includes four stories fronted by all glass, through the construction process, and now to completion.

Glass plus a tower

Drexel has been busy building new facilities and announcing plans to construct new buildings. A month ago, Drexel opened Chestnut Square, a $97.6M 19-story mixed-use project. Some of the businesses associated with the project have already opened, with several more still to come. Drexel also has plans for a 24-story tower at 34th & Lancaster where an old building has already come down, plus they’ve begun work on the new Dornsife Center at 35th & Spring Garden.

In all, the University City skyline is in the midst of a change spurred by an incredible amount of investment which will result in the Center City skyscrapers getting some younger cousins across town. Just up the street, the Science Center is well on its way in constructing its 11-story reflector 3737 Market. Near Penn, there are plans for 25-stories in place of two historic brownstones at 38th & Chestnut.

With Drexel acquiring the triangular parcel that includes Firestone at 32nd & Market across the street from the new LeBow Hall, you can guess there are future plans for that site. And with work continuing on Cira Centre South and hundreds of new residential units coming online in the next few years, the face of University City will be radically different and taller in the decade to come.

–Lou Mancinelli