Watch Philly's 100 tallest buildings sprout up through history - Philly


Jul. 27, 2017 11:27 am

Watch Philly’s 100 tallest buildings sprout up through history

A Santa Barbara firm made a mesmerizing animation of the Philly skyline.

Philly rising.

(Animation by Commercial Café)

As a small tribute to our city’s history and its soaring skyscrapers, Commercial Café — a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based “real estate information services provider” — cooked up a mesmerizing animation that takes us through the last 100 years of tall buildings in Philly.

The vid, which took the firm two weeks to complete, according to spokesman Adel Dobriban, is the second installment in a series that’s looking at the evolution of cities across the country. Here’s the first installment, which takes a look at downtown Los Angeles.

The vid comes just days after the publication of a JLL report that compares Philly’s bubbling skyline to that of other cities. “While Philly has experienced a recent explosion of trophy towers and class A buildings, its skyline still has plenty of catching up to do with the rest of the U.S.,” wrote Curbed Philly reporter Melissa Romero about the report.

Alright, enough chatter, here’s the video.

  • david grasso

    Interesting graphic, however, not accurate. The UGI building (1401 Arch- 1904) and the JFK Rehab building (112 N Broad- late 1800’s) were actually the first modern high rise buildings in Philadelphia with steel superstructures and Otis elevators. Also, the Phoenix has actually been the INA (Insurance Company of North America) building for most of its life.

  • phillyaggie

    “Loews Hotel, 1932” is the PSFS Building, the very first International Style building in the world.

    Also, the video shows the “Aramark building” as already existing when the PSFS building pops up. Obviously that’s not true. I’m sure lots of other such oversights and the animation is meant to just show the major buildings, I suppose. And covers only one part of Center City… doesn’t cover buildings farther east, such as the St James apartment tower and the office complex around Independence Mall.

    • Miguel Vargas

      Thank you for pointing out this blatant mistake because the PSFS Bldg should have been highlighted and instead was glossed over, and mislabeled.


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