Updated at 4:30 p.m.
The historic city of Philadelphia hasn't been known for its skyline in a long time. Now, some developers want to change that with a proposal to construct what would be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the second-tallest building in the world. (This is not including communications towers like Toronto's CN Tower, which are not considered true "buildings," or other proposed projects around the world that may be taller when finished.)
The proposed American Commerce Center would pierce the sky at 1,500 feet, 525 feet higher than the city's currently planned height champ, the Comcast Center, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. That would also surpass the iconic Empire State Building's 1,250 feet.
The $800 million, 2.2-million-square-foot skyscraper would be erected over what is now a parking lot at 18th and Arch Streets. It would house retail, hotel and office space, as well as a movie theater. The structure would be built by Philadelphia-based Walnut Street Capital.
The building would be second only to Taiwan's Taipei 101, a cloud-bursting 1,670 feet. But that's not the most exciting thing about the proposal. The good news is the designers are planning on making the Philly landmark a green building, even hoping to earn an impressive gold certification (same as the Hearst Tower in NYC) from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program. That means a high degree of energy and water efficiency, which should save millions of dollars in operating expenses over the years, as well as result in a much reduced ecological footprint.
At least two gardens are even planned for rooftop spaces on the structure.
It seems that Philadelphia's long-standing "gentlemen's rule" that no building surpass the statue of William Penn on City Hall 548 feet is long since forgotten. Hopefully, green building will soon become the next gentlemen's rule in the City of Brotherly Love.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.