Paging Stephen Starr: Great Restaurant Space Up for Grabs on Independence Mall

You may have read by now that the Dow Chemical Company is putting its historic–yes, historic; it’s listed on the National Register–office building on Independence Mall up for sale once again.

Rohm and Haas built the building in 1965 as its headquarters, and the building designed by Pietro Belluschi and George M. Ewing Co. (now EwingCole) is considered a Modernist masterpiece.


It could also be a great place to eat. The Philadelphia Business Journal reported that besides putting the building back on the market – Dow had tried to sell it when it acquired Rohm and Haas in 2009 – the agent handling the listing, Robert Fahey of CBRE, is recommending its lobby space to would-be buyers as a retail opportunity, and in the south lobby is a 10,000-square-foot space equipped for food service.


As it’s fitted out as a corporate cafeteria, it’s probably no surprise that few members of the public know of its existence. But the space already has the elements of a great restaurant interior, starting with those cruciform icicle lights and extending to those floor-to-ceiling windows.


It also has an outdoor terrace. Though the Journal describes the cafeteria as open to the public, the outdoor terrace at least is marked for use by building tenants only.


Fahey says the lobby spaces would be ideal for a bank or other retailer. Seems somebody else agreed some time back: over the cafeteria’s terrace entrance, one can make out the ghost of a First Fidelity Bank sign. That bank disappeared several mergers ago, and we guess the cafeteria, which has no name, took the bank branch’s place.

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