Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rooms with a View

I have baking posts, house renovation posts, my failure at fashion posts, and several other drafts sitting languidly in my blog queue.  I will circle around to those posts, but this week, I have Philadelphia on my mind and in my heart. 

Out of the many lessons I've been learning the past few weeks, setting priorities is near the top of the list.  Two weeks at a hospital bedside is enough to make anyone question their priorities.  As my father-in-law said, we've all been reborn as philosophers. 

Much of my pondering of life occurred while staring out of a window.  We stayed all over the city, from downtown to the theater district.  We stayed in historic homes as part of the Hosts for Hospitals program. When I worked from the Philadelphia office, I gazed across the city in sweeping views from the 27th floor. 
Near the Downtown Courtyard
Near the Downtown Courtyard
Market, between 18th & 19th
Market, between 18th & 19th
From the Sheraton on 17th and Race
From the Sheraton on 17th and Race (Art Museum in the center)
Theater District from the Double Tree
With our shifting priorities, we took time to appreciate the beauty of Philadelphia.  We didn't know which building was which or the historical significance, but even after a difficult day, we would exclaim through a bus window, "What beautiful architecture!"

If you know these buildings and would like to comment on their history or importance, please do leave a comment - I'd love to learn more!


  1. I followed you over from Weddingbee, and live and work in Philadelphia! My office is at 20th & Market, so I know these buildings well. I don't know the history of them, but the tall shiny building that looks like a USB plug on top is the Comcast Center, which was built in the last 2 years or so. There's a really great food court type area on the bottom floor that I highly recommend!

    Also - fun fact - there is a small statue of William Penn ("Billy Penn") on top of the Comcast Center. According to the curse of Billy Penn, Philadelphia sports would not win championships if a building was built taller than Billy Penn (the statue on top of City Hall). When the Liberty Place buildings were built in 1987, Philly sports luck ran out. But, once the Comcast center was built and the statue was there, the Phillies won the World Series in 2008.

  2. Oh thank you! Great tip about the food court too since I'll probably be there again. I love baseball too, so your trivia fact was right up my alley! Thanks so much for your input!

  3. I'm not familiar with these buildings, but the one in that last picture is beautiful!

  4. Melinda,

    You should have asked the resident Philly lovers (me and Lisa!) First, I'm sorry to hear you were there for a medical thing, but the hospitals there are really good (Penn had the first med school in the country!) Also, did you know the first modern skyscraper was built in Philly? (The PSFS Building on Market Street)

    As for the buildings:
    The first one is city hall. It was the largest free-standing masontry building when it was finished in the late 1800s. It took (i think) about 20-30 years to build. They just finished cleaning it and it looks gorgeous! you can go to the top to see the whole city. Also, that's the original Billy Penn statue, as referenced in the "curse of William Penn".

    I'm not sure about the church.

    The third one is the Comcast Center, which is the tallest building BETWEEN New York and Chicago. It was originally supposed to be brick, but the developer decided at the last minute to go with glass. There is another parking lot next to it that is the site for the proposed "American Commerce Center" which was to be the tallest building in the country, but I think the freedom tower is going to surpass it since it's actually gotten off the ground.

    The pink building in the skyline is the CIRA center which opened in the mod 2000s. It is connected to the Amtrak station, and is gorgeous. There are plans to build out market street west of the river, including the Cira Center 2 on Walnut street, whcih will be built on the Penn Postal Lands as part of their campus expansion.

    The building BEHIND the gorgeous building in the last picture (which I don't may be the Bellvue...I can't tell) is Libery Place. That is the buidling that broke the "gentlemans agreement" not to build higher than William Penn - hence the small statue on top of the comcast center and the first win for a Philly sports team since Liberty Place wentup!

    I love philly!!!!

    - John