New Renderings of Vine Street Mormon Tower

The Robert A.M. Stern building goes up for Civic Design Review.

The proposed apartment tower, with the proposed brick meetinghouse in front of it, and the under-construction temple in the foreground.

The Mormon Church’s planned apartment tower and small meetinghouse on Vine Street is about to go through the city’s Civic Design Review process—which means we get a bunch of new project renderings, plans, and specifications.

The project, which was announced several months ago by Mayor Nutter, will fill the block-long vacant lot on the north side of Vine Street between Franklin Town Boulevard and 16th Street, right across from the site of the still-under-construction Mormon temple. It’ll include a new access road through the middle of the site between the two buildings.

The tower will rise 32 stories and 360 feet, and will house 264 apartments, 13 town homes, and plenty of residential amenities including a large outdoor terrace, wraparound retail space, and two levels of underground parking. Portions will have green roofs. The meetinghouse, to be sited between the temple and the tower, will rise two stories and house a chapel, cultural center, “baptismal font,” educational facilities, and an outdoor courtyard.

The design, about which Inga Saffron had mixed feelings, is by the all-too-ubiquitous Robert A.M. Stern Architects in conjunction with Philadelphia’s BLT Architects.

You can check out the entire Civic Design Review proposal here. More renderings and plans, all courtesy of the Mormon Church, below.

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  • Chasr R Tuna

    render, plan & review to your heart’s content…as long as I don’t start getting LDS missionaries at my door every other day

    • Herkermer

      The LDS church owns for-profit corporations like the one developing this tower as a way to bring in extra funding for special projects and such. Its purpose is to be profitable. I’m sure they realize that disproportionately targeting the residents for proselytizing would not further that purpose.

      I also expect that they will try to distance themselves from the idea that this is a “Mormon tower” (see the headline) for fear that potential renters will think they’d be moving into some kind of Mormon enclave.

      • Ozpoof

        What “special projects”? The Mormon cult contributes a tiny fraction of its tithing income to charity, and zero income from it’s for profit holdings.

        What kind of church invests in real estate while the poor have to scrape by after they pay this corporation 10%? Disgusting.

        • kvn3rd

          Really? Unbelievably bogus on so many levels. But, lets just say the poor of the church do give 10% to their church, they are in good company since the widow gave pretty much all she had and was praised by Christ for doing so. Your religious bigotry is truly a sight to behold. What kind of Church you ask does that? You figure that one out on you own, wait a minute, that aint gonna happen is it Oz?

        • Herkermer

          What do you think a responsible church would do with donations from its members—invest it in things like real estate that are likely to yield a return (while at the same time, in this case, contributing to the revitalization of the Philadelphia downtown), or stick it in the bank and let it lose value?

          Perhaps you imagine that a good church would immediately redistribute to the poor. Yet at the same time you acknowledge that many of its own members are poor. I don’t think you’ve thought this through.

          One of the “special projects” I refer to is the LDS Church’s widely-acclaimed welfare system, which fills its storehouses with the produce of the church’s agribusiness ventures. The church uses those storehouses to feed its impoverished members. Most of the church’s corporate holdings serve a similar dual purpose: responsibly invest tithing donations, and do so in a way that also benefits the church’s mission.

  • kclo3

    Stern’s facade design (the windows) are one of the most disgusting things in architecture today. Completely ruins the building. And BLTa must have chosen the same earwax-tan color used in their 38th & Chestnut project

    • Michel S

      *apply cold water to burned area*

  • There’s some question about whether or not that decidedly extensive complex will include a Family History Center. At a meeting of genealogists and genealogy/history librarians at last January’s Midwinter Conference of the American Library Association, several people asked about that…and were told by an attendee who’s with Family Search (one of the LDS genealogy-related electronic resources) that there would definitely NOT be one. It’s possible that the plans for the complex have expanded since then, but this gentleman was absolutely certain. Does anyone know if there’s any recent information to contradict that?

  • Rusty Jones

    Mormons are leaving their religion in droves no wonder the religion is beefing up other sources of income outside of donations.

    • Tyler

      Uh.. they are not leaving in droves. About 300k people join it every year

      • Ozpoof

        Well that many might be baptized, but they certainly don’t stay active, especially once they find out the true history of this “church”.

        Remember when they used to tell us over the pulpit that LDS Inc was the fastest growing church? That was never true, and is even less true now.

        If the members aren’t leaving in droves, why are the PR arm of the church scrambling to *finally* attempt to answer the hard questions people ask before they leave – The questions Marlon K Jensen acknowledged in a fireside were causing people to leave in the “greatest apostacy since Kirtland”?

        • kvn3rd

          Geez Oz, you cant even get Jensen’s name right. I bet the tithing thang got you all twisted up and you just had a typo….no worries tho….every bigot gets something right every once in a great while.

        • Cody Quirk

          Funny, if people were leaving the LDS Church, then why do they keep building temples and chapels all over the world, and especially keep baptizing people?

          I am currently “inactive” since I work a job that makes it unable for me to attend on Sundays, yet does that mean I don’t believe in the LDS faith and will soon leave it?

          Stupid bigot.

          Speaking of learning about the church’s ‘true’ history and doctrine-

          • Rusty Jones

   then read fairs rebuttal to the cesletter. You will be in for a shock. Except you won’t read it because its not church approved. Seriously isn’t that a huge red flag that they tell you to only read things they put out? If the church is so true what are they so afraid of?

          • Cody Quirk

            That’s the best you got, that it’s not ‘church-approved’?


            Wow, you are a moron.

          • Rusty Jones

            Read the ces letter.

          • Cody Quirk

            I did and there are way too many things that FAIR handily counter refutes.

            Sorry silly bigot, but when critics kick Mormonism- they kick it upstairs.

      • Rusty Jones

        LDS church had a 2.03% growth rate for the year 2013 (2012 – 14,782,473 members and 2013 – 15,082,028). World Population growth rate is 1.1%. If you consider that less than 50% will stay active the church has a growth rate lower than the world population growth. This is incredible considering Mormons tend to have a lot more children than the rest of the world.

    • Cody Quirk

      CFR please.

  • Rusty Jones

    Biggest proof that the Joseph Smith was a fraud: The Book of Abraham, check out how well he did translating the papyri.