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Thread: Philadelphia Proposal for USA's Tallest Tower: American Commerce Center

  1. #1
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Philadelphia Proposal for USA's Tallest Tower: American Commerce Center

    Zoning bill marks 1st step toward
    1,500-foot skyscraper here

    Philadelphia Daily News
    By CHRIS BRENNAN
    Fri, Jun. 20, 2008

    A local developer took the first step yesterday toward building the tallest skyscraper in America when City Councilman Darrell Clarke introduced legislation for zoning changes needed at the 18th and Arch streets location.

    Clarke's action came on the same week that Mayor Nutter laid out his goal to restore to the City Planning Commission the power to shape such developments. The councilman and the mayor agree the commission should run the show on the proposed skyscraper, which Walnut Street Capital has named the "American Commerce Center."

    At 1,500 feet, the skyscraper would be more than 50 percent taller than the Comcast Center, which recently opened one block away. The Comcast Center takes up a full city block while the American Commerce Center would be built on a 1.5-acre half-block.

    Clarke said the site's narrow footprint was one reason the developer chose to build so high.

    That has prompted complaints from nearby businesses and the residents of high-rise buildings on John F. Kennedy Boulevard about traffic congestion, reduced parking since the site is now a parking lot, and the shadow a 1,500-foot skyscraper might throw over the neighborhood.

    "I understand that there is significant concern and, at this point, a reasonable level of opposition," Clarke said. "It's our hope that by the time of the public hearings that most of those issues will be addressed."

    Clarke brought the developer to meet Nutter early this year and city planners have been working on the project since then. The mayor says the building's "size, scale and complexity" could be a test case for his goal of changing development in the city.

    "This could be a wonderful opportunity to utilize this new process . . . for what could be one of the most incredible buildings built not just in Philadelphia but anywhere in the country," Nutter said after Council's meeting.

    Joseph Beller, an attorney representing the residents of the nearby Kennedy House, said they don't want "canyons" of skyscrapers like New York City.

    "We're not trying to be obstructionists," Beller said. "We're trying to see if something built there will be compatible and not harm what's already there."

    Rob Stuart, president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, said the developer has been meeting almost weekly for several months about those concerns.

    "When you look at the amount of square feet, it needs this legislation because it would be the densest development in the history of Philadelphia," Stuart said.

    Clarke's legislation was introduced on the last day of Council before the start of the three-month summer break. While the developer can work with the city and neighbors over the summer, no action can be taken on the legislation until mid-September.

    © Copyright | Philly Online, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default

    Model of American Commerce Center tower from wikipedia ...



    acc

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    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Default "Mayor Nutter"?

    LOL! Actually SSP has a lot of information on this project. Philly has been trying to get this one off the ground for a long time.

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default

    American Commerce Center to be tallest in Philadelphia skyline

    The Temple News
    Posted on 14 March 2008
    by Christopher Wink



    Plans for the American Commerce Center at 18th and Arch Streets in Center City would make it the tallest building in Philadelphia, perhaps as soon as 2012.

    The widely-cited news was first reported yesterday by the development blog PhillySkyline.com.

    Walnut Street Capital bought the mixed-use lot at 1800 Arch Street in October. Since then the group hired Kohn Pederson Fox, an architecture firm, and developed plans for a 1,500-foot, 63-story office tower, with an adjacent 26-story hotel, according to PhillySkyline.com.


    PhillySkyline.com

    As proposed, it would be taller than the Empire State Building in New York City, making it the second tallest building in the United States, behind only the Sears Tower in Chicago. The American Commerce Center would be 525 taller than the recently completed Comcast Center, officially made the tallest building in Philadelphia during a ceremony in June 2007. That building is located at 17th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

    Both the developer Walnut Street Capital and the architecture firm Kohn Pederson have been active in Philadelphia’s growth ...

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  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Images from the American Commerce Center website ...







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    Looks better from below than above - from below its kind of reminiscent of the citibank building.

  7. #7

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    Amazing building. I hope it gets built. For Philly's 40 msf of office space, it packs together a nice collection of buildings.

  8. #8

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    Really boring version of the CCTV building with a very boring tower and libeskind-esk spire. Would really destroy a decent skyline which the Comcast tower made.

  9. #9
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Default I disagree.

    IMO the Comcast tower took the Philly skyline up to the next level and made the other towers look short. The Philly skyline needs more mass.

  10. #10

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    Comcast is perhaps the only Robert Stern skyscraper that I have ever really respected as an Architectural statement. Now if they just could add Richard Meier's Mandeville Place somewhere down the road, that would continue to sustain Philadelphia's push to build a more vibrant and modern skyline.

  11. #11

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    And why exactly are they calling this the proposal for Amreica's Tallest Tower?

  12. #12
    The Dude Abides
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    It doesn't even look that tall. And you're right, alonzo: the spire is very Libeskind-esque.


  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default

    To be fair that ^ isn't really the Libeskind spire, is it? Isn't that the second incarnation, after the committee of wise men took over?

  14. #14

    Default There are spires and there are spires ...

    With a handful of exceptions, I have never been a fan of skyscraper spires. But among those exceptions my favourite, recently proposed, is for a tower in Spain. This also happens to be an asymmetric spire. The structure to which it will be attached is called Casino Mediterráneo, and it is to be located in Vila-Jolosa - which is just outside Benidorm, along Costa Blanca.

    Seamlessly integrated into that structure’s form, the spire has none of that afterthought look that we see in the American Commerce Center. Although only a render, this should make the point perfectly clear:



    Casino Mediterráneo


    Courtesy SSC / P05

  15. #15
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Nice ^

    From Adolfo Rodriguez Architects

    Can't find a link to the Rodriguez website ...

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