U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-06-2011, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,881,190 times
Reputation: 970

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
Yes, but Manhattan has tons of tall buildings AND street life. Philadelphia has street life and some tall buildings; it needs more of both.

I don't know why so many people have hangups about tall buildings. It must be some sort of provincial Quaker modesty thing that has been ingrained into people in this region. I'm not arguing anyone's point (in fact, I agree that Market East needs to be improved more than the vicinity of 18th & JFK), but to dismiss a tall building doesn't make sense to me. Why can't a tall building add to street life?
Because you're packing hundreds of people into one lot, instead of having them spread all over the city. Ground floor retail typically works differently, being enclosed within the building or even having a "mall" within the building, like that Liberty Building here, getting storefronts off of the street, and having 10-20 stores being enclosed within one building. Food courts are common, again taking away street life. They are typically heavily dedicated to office space, and the businesses around them become dedicated to office workers rather than residents. See how quiet Market and JFK are late at night, as compared to Walnut.

Plus, they are often designed by "architects" who are more interested in creating some magnificent piece of "artwork" rather than caring much about urban planning.

Philly isn't Manhattan, anyway. I don't care about Manhattan. I was born in New York City - grew up in Pennsylvania, but I've been to New York City so many times I've lost track. It is what it is, and it is good at what it does. It has its own identity, which is what makes it great. Philadelphia, unlike a lot of cities in America, has its own identity and history that it can embrace, it doesn't have to be Manhattan.

Plus, downtown Manhattan, the financial district that is, is sort of a ghost town after all the workers go home. Which is what skyscrapers bring in. Of course, midtown has plenty of skyscrapers too and has a ton of street life - but skyscrapers don't necessarily mean anything. Lots of the most desirable neighborhoods in lower Manhattan, your Greenwich Village and Washington Square, have very few skyscrapers, and have a feel pretty similar to Philadelphia. Chelsea, Little Italy, East Village. And so forth.

Manhattan's population density is 70k people per square mile, Philly is 11k per square mile, which actually does make it one of the densest big cities in America. But it's still not Manhattan. There are little to no vacant lots in Manhattan - they have nowhere to build but up. There are quite a few vacant lots in Center City, some of which are really inexplicable - right on Walnut diagonal from Rittenhouse Square. On Chestnut. On Market. All over the place north of Market and south of Vine. They can all be filled in with "big" buildings which aren't skyscrapers, to create the type of urban landscape that exists in most of Center City - which is vibrant and exciting. Then, if one day, Philadelphia, like Manhattan, has nowhere to build but up to outerspace, it would make more sense to do so. But that day is really a long time away, if it would ever be coming at all.

I've spent the past 5 years living in the Midwest. I've seen a bunch of cities. They all have skyscrapers. And they're all really proud of their skyscrapers. And they're all dead cities after 5 PM. Tall cities don't make good cities. I'm not against tall cities per se. I'm just for good cities. Philadelphia is one of the few, and I'm thinking the vast majority of people who live in Center City, which is really one of the nicest places in America, aren't doing it to live close to "skyscrapers".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-10-2011, 07:34 AM
 
141 posts, read 234,401 times
Reputation: 122
Philly doesn't necesarrily have to be dense as Manhattan tobe considered vibrant. Actually in the 1950's, when Philly had 2M people in it's city limits, Philly was one of the densest cities in America, right along w/ NYC, Boston, and Chicago.

And I don't have a problem w/ packing hundreds of people in one lot, neither. I actually believe that by doing that, more people would be able to use mass transit than continue to use their cars all the time, and that's a good thing, IMO. Plus it makes the city's skyline look better, too.

In other words, I'm all for the ACC to be built as the country's largest tower (although it can be re-designed to beat China's tallest)!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
Reputation: 2051
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer34 View Post
Philly doesn't necesarrily have to be dense as Manhattan tobe considered vibrant. Actually in the 1950's, when Philly had 2M people in it's city limits, Philly was one of the densest cities in America, right along w/ NYC, Boston, and Chicago.

And I don't have a problem w/ packing hundreds of people in one lot, neither. I actually believe that by doing that, more people would be able to use mass transit than continue to use their cars all the time, and that's a good thing, IMO. Plus it makes the city's skyline look better, too.

In other words, I'm all for the ACC to be built as the country's largest tower (although it can be re-designed to beat China's tallest)!!!
Just picking at straws here, but Philly today is still one of the densest cities in america, and is still similar in density to Boston & Chicago (NYC is significantly more dense - and not just Manhattan either - every borough but Staten Island is substantially denser than Philly, Chicago, or Boston).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2011, 10:40 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
Reputation: 2051
Maybe someone said this already, but the main reason why the ACC shouldn't be built, IMO, isn't an aesthetic one. It would theoretically be great to have a supertall tower in Philly. Maybe people might actually notice that Philly is the second largest city on the east coast, not Boston or DC (which combined aren't as big as Philly).
I've got no attachment at all to Helmut Jahn's 2 postmodern Chrysler Building knockoffs that currently dominate our skyline (which I've always thought was an embarrassment - way to play 2nd fiddle to NY). It's certainly no uglier than them. But that's just opinion.
The reason it shouldn't be built is that if it was built, just like when every recent skyscraper in Philly has been built, it will likely mean that other buildings in center city will be emptied out as tenants move into the newer office space. The ACC would likely have some special tax status granted to it in order to attract a big tenant, which would ensure that secondary tenants would be sucked from other office space in Center City that didn't have as sweet of a tax break. When those buildings are emptied, they would have to be fully or partially converted to Condos or Hotels, like 2 Liberty was after all the Law firms jumped ship to the Cira Centre. And that's after 2 Liberty itself had pulled tenants from the building that emptied out and became "The Phoenix", which hasn't yet sold as condo units.
Since the ACC itself would include a new hotel, would there need to convert another newly empty skyscraper to another hotel? Or would there be there a market for yet more new luxury condo conversions? Doubtful.
It's ultimately a net loss for the city, since the city would be getting less tax revenue from all those business that moved down the street for a tax break.
I think the only way the ACC makes any sense at all is if there is massive job growth, or if a large anchor tenant from outside the city is attracted which will fill the majority of the building.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: West Cedar Park, Philadelphia
1,225 posts, read 2,275,936 times
Reputation: 686
It makes sense if people were climbing over each other to get at office space downtown. They're not. There was speculation on this before the financial downturn, but that pretty much stagnated the demand for more office space. This isn't unique to Philly, in fact Philadelphia did better than a lot of other cities where demand dropped off significantly.

I'm looking for two things to happen. First, the economy really needs to turn back around. This is probably just a matter of when, not if. Then look to see how City Hall works around its new tax proposals to make the climate in the city more pro-business, or pro-growth. Hopefully we get something out of that which will give Philadelphia a better edge over other NE Corridor cities. Remember, the NE Corridor is highly desirable real-estate, we just have competition with four other major cities. Yeah, we're cheaper than NYC, but we need more to boast about than that to businesses. Also, since we have a republican administration in the statehouse now, we may see the business climate in the state improve as well. Hopefully that balances out whatever cuts they send our way, because Corbett is probably going to use Philly as his budget whipping boy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2011, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
6,967 posts, read 18,558,445 times
Reputation: 2669
this thread needs this pic again - man, how sweet would that be?

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2011, 01:58 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,805,651 times
Reputation: 372
I like architecture too and signs that Philly is improving but, meh.

It seemed too much like the recent southern/western housing boom, building it just to build it. Who would be the tenant?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2011, 10:17 PM
 
Location: West Cedar Park, Philadelphia
1,225 posts, read 2,275,936 times
Reputation: 686
Quote:
Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
I like architecture too and signs that Philly is improving but, meh.

It seemed too much like the recent southern/western housing boom, building it just to build it. Who would be the tenant?
That's exactly it, there is no anchor tenant. We have other problems to address before we'll have the need for that much office space.

Things like this:

Plans unveiled for E. Market | Philadelphia Business Journal

fixing the tax structure, getting abandoned/tax delinquent properties to sheriff's sale, fixing the court system, these need to be our priorities before we start to host world-class building projects like that.

We've made a start on reversing population decline, starting to rebuild a tax base, and retaining more professionals. Now we really need to get down to work though, those were the low-hanging fruit.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2011, 09:53 AM
 
154 posts, read 278,215 times
Reputation: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by john_starks View Post
this thread needs this pic again - man, how sweet would that be?
don't know if this has been mentioned, but every time I see that picture it looks like the skyline is giving the middle finger.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-15-2011, 04:24 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,550 times
Reputation: 10
Construction is scheduled to start in 2012
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top