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Travels Through Philadelphia

Liberty Place

As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Philadelphia is home to many historic buildings, from the early 18th century Independence Hall to the early 20th century City Hall. The latter was the tallest building in the city until 1987, when the construction of a glass skyscraper, known as One Liberty Place changed the skyline of the city.

Until then, an unwritten rule prevented developers from exceeding the height of the hat on William Penn's statue atop the City Hall. Willard G. Rouse eventually got approval for his Liberty Place project, which included two towers both taller than the City Hall. The approval was given after intense lobbying with the prospect of more jobs and revenue for the cash-strapped city.

The first tower, One Liberty Place, was built in 1987. At 945ft or 288m it is still the tallest building in the city. The postmodern 60-story tower with sapphire blue glass sheathing was designed by Murphy & Jahn Associates. Its pyramidal top features a series of chevron setbacks.
In 1990 a similar tower, Two Liberty Place, was built as a part of the same complex. It is a smaller version of One Liberty Place with a height of 848ft/258m and 58 stories.

Since the construction of One Liberty Place, many more skyscrapers were built in the area, many of them exceeding the height of Philadelphia's former tallest, the City Hall.

Liberty Place is located in Center City, at 17th and Chestnut Streets. It has a public court and retail space with about 70 shops.









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