Thursday, March 30, 2006

Home Address: Two Liberty Place

For those who really want to be above it all in Philadelphia, condo apartments will soon be available in Two Liberty Place, the squatter half of the celebrated Market Street office complex that broke the city's height barrier in 1990. Demolition has started on floors 37 to 57 and Agoos/Lovera Architects is busy designing layouts for 140 units, mainly two bedrooms with dens.

Of course, living in a former office tower, built to provide the maximum amount of column-free floors for commercial tenants, has its complications. The 848-foot-tall building, like most modern office towers, does not have operable windows. And getting sunlight into the deep, deep spaces will be a challenge. Still, residents will be able to claim they live in the highest units in town - for awhile at least.

Agoos/Lovera is also designing what could be the tallest residential tower in Philadelphia, a 70-story mixed use skyscraper on Delaware Avenue that would hover 900 feet over Poplar Street. Bridgman's View is just 45 feet shy of One Liberty Place, and only 75 feet less than the Comcast Center, which will be the tallest building in the city. The Delaware Avenue skyscraper is being developed by Marc F. Stein, a third-generation steel contractor, and has financial backing from a group of New York investors. Unlike the Spring Garden civic association, which is fighting a 500-foot skyscraper on the site of the Ben Franklin Motor Inn, the Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association did not start by threatening a lawsuit when Agoos/Lovera presented the project on Monday. The group is weighing the project on its merits, which are discussed in tomorrow's Changing Skyline.


Anonymous JD said...

Finally a design for Delaware ave that compliments the City.

4:04 PM  
Blogger George said...

They will never sell enough of these to make the design worth the costs. Costs for condos are rising rapidly. As the Fed raises interest rates the number of new projects will drop as potential buyers will be unable to afford these units. I love skyscrapers in my hometown, but this is not sustainable. That said, I hope they build it.

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Ct said...

Well I disagree. This Building is not only going to be sustainable I heard in the meeting it is shooting for a high Leeds certification. They are proposing for this to be a Iconic building that will set the standards in the future.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Stealth43 said...

I'll believe it when I see it ct. George is right. Unfortuanately these past inflation numbers were the worst in quite a while. As such the intrest rates will continue to rise in an attempt to find neutrality.

9:32 AM  
Blogger vincedean said...

I'll believe it when I see it also. Having said that many times before, I can't believe my eyes ! So many projects that I thought wouldn't see the light of day are flying up all over the city. With each new announcement, the designs are increasingly superior ! If nothing else, it is forcing developers to become better atuned to good design .In spite of the parking podium, this is an excellent design and will be a welcome addition to our beautiful skyline !

11:46 AM  
Anonymous SJ said...

Isnt a zoning variance needed to convert part of liberty place to condos? I heard about this a while ago, but I didn't realize it was goign forward. I they have already started demolition I am surprised that there has been no advertising thus far.

I hope that Delaware Ave building gets built, but I am skeptical.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sj: each less restrictive zoning district usually includes "by right" all uses allowed in the more restrictive districts. meaning, you can't put a commercial building in a residential district, but the opposite is true. two liberty place must be something like C-5 (which, if you page back through the sections of the code, keeps incorporating by reference all the uses allowed in the more restrictive districts). check out the code by starting at

10:23 PM  
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