Liberty Place is a skyscraper complex located in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is composed of two skyscrapers, the 61-story One Liberty Place and the 58-story Two Liberty Place, as well as a 14-story hotel and a 2-story shopping mall. During the 1980’s, One Liberty Place was considered as the tallest skyscraper in the city of Philadelphia until 2008, when it was overtaken by the Comcast Center.
Liberty Place History
The history of constructing the complex came with some controversies. Prior to plans of constructing the building complex, there was a gentlemen’s agreement among the citizens of Philadelphia that there should be no buildings constructed that should be higher than the statue of William Penn fixed atop the Philadelphia City Hall. This tradition was challenged in 1984 when developer Rouse & Associates announced its plans to develop a skyscraper taller than the City Hall. The plans were met with opposition, citing that doing so will lead to other taller skyscrapers in the city and affect its charm and livability.
But despite the opposition, the development of One Liberty Place was approved. Construction of the skyscraper started in 1985. It was eventually completed in 1987. It then became the tallest skyscraper in the city of Philadelphia. Phase two of the development, which included the construction of Two Liberty Place, the hotel and the shopping mall, began in 1988. The complex was completed in 1990. One Liberty Place and Two Liberty Place were the tallest and second tallest skyscrapers in the city up until 2007 when the Comcast Center was topped off.
Liberty Place Features
One Liberty Place and Two Liberty Place were skyscrapers designed by architect Helmut Jahn. The two skyscrapers are made of steel, aluminum, granite and glass, with the design heavily influenced by the Chrysler Building in New York. The similarities are more evident while looking at One Liberty Place with its spire standing upon gabled angular setbacks. The towers are built with a steel structure being held up by eight large pillars on the buildings’ perimeters with a central core that houses the elevators. This design allows for the maximum amount of interior space. One Liberty Place stands 945 feet or 288 meters high. Two Liberty Place is shorter at 848 feet or 258 meters. The two towers are connected to the hotel and the shopping mall structures.