The Philadelphia skyline highlights one of the oldest cities in the United States and one that also served twice as the nation's capital. It is a historic city known for its role in the American Revolution and for hosting the First and Second Continental Congresses and the Constitutional Convention. Today, Philadelphia skyscrapers blend the city’s history with its more modern aspects, using both newer architectural styles and classic structures from the eighteenth century.
Most of all, the Philadelphia skyline is a visual example of history, featuring many historic buildings such as Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Independence Hall, and the Valley Forge National Arch. In particular, Philadelphia skyline photos wouldn’t be complete without a picture of Independence Hall, which was completed in 1753. This Georgian-style brick structure gives visitors an opportunity to see the Liberty Bell as well as retrace the steps of those who participated in the signing of the United States Constitution and the United States Declaration of Independence.
Like the Pittsburgh skyline, Philly is also known for its bridges. Spanning the Delaware River, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge is both part of the city’s skyline and a vantage point for beautiful photographs. It is also a historical attraction in itself: The bridge, which extends 1,700 feet, is one of the country’s oldest examples of a steel suspension bridge.
When it comes to Philadelphia skyscrapers themselves, the city has its share of grand structures. The tallest building gracing the skyline is the Comcast Center, which towers above the city at 975 feet. The height of the building, along with the modern brilliant steel and glass exterior highlighted by custom lighting, makes the sophisticated structure a prominent feature and recognizable building from any area of the city. The Comcast Center is also the tallest building in Pennsylvania and the fifteenth-tallest in the United States.
The historic Philadelphia City Hall was the tallest building from the time of its construction in 1901 until 1987, and surprisingly, it is still among the top ten buildings in Philadelphia in terms of height. City Hall rises 540 feet over Penn Square. Outstanding features of the building are its clock and the bronze statue of William Penn set at the top of the building.
The second- and third-tallest Philadelphia Skyscrapers are One and Two Liberty Place, respectively. The Art Deco-style One Liberty Place rises 945 feet with a spectacular view of Market Street below and panoramic views of the surrounding city skyline, and it serves as both commercial and hotel space. Two Liberty Place has a complementary Art Deco design and is about 100 feet shorter than its counterpart, at 848 feet in height.
Other iconic buildings in the Philadelphia skyline include the Mellon Bank Center, at 792 feet, and Three Logan Square, which is 739 feet tall and used to be known as the Bell Atlantic Tower. One of the best features of the skyline, which is clearly seen in these buildings, is the array of unique architectural styles that still blends together cohesively. The top of the Mellon Center is capped with a pyramid, while Three Logan Square sports a unique glass and red granite exterior.
Most visitors to Philadelphia may come for the historical attractions, such as the Liberty Bell and Rittenhouse Square, but the city’s more modern aspects are worth exploring as well. Take a few photos of the skyline, and you’re sure to appreciate a city that is just as beautiful today as it was 300 years ago.