Open House at 2116 Chestnut on Thursday

Brokers, renters and other interested stakeholders will get their first official glimpse.

2116 Chestnut. Image via the building's website.

2116 Chestnut. Image via the building’s website.

2116 Chestnut, the 34-story apartment tower near Rittenhouse Square that opened last summer, will host an open house on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will be held on the building’s rooftop deck, and will feature complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. There will be a DJ and tours of sample apartment units for all guests.

The slick glass 2116 Chestnut has 321 units and was built by the John Buck Co. of Chicago, with additional funding from the Indure Fund, a union-backed real estate investment fund, and the state of Pennsylvania. Electricians’ union chief John Dougherty played a major role in getting the project off the ground.

As Inga Saffron noted, the building was designed to appeal to young professionals, not super wealthy migrant suburbanites. It has many small units for singles, with rents starting last summer at $1,700 for a studio apartment and $1,950 for a one bedroom.

Saffron wrote that the building’s facade has “about as much excitement as a blank sheet of paper.” But doesn’t it take architectural guts to leave a 34-floor facade as unadorned as this one? No cheap window patterning, no arbitrary setbacks — just 34 stories of floor-to-ceiling glass separated by horizontal strips of concrete, with small balconies at each end of each story.

I think the architects, Hartshorne Plunkard of Chicago, pull it off thanks to the contrast between the very transparent, slightly greenish glass and the concrete; and because of the building’s slim, rectangular massing. To me, the elegantly functionalist result looks like one of Philadelphia’s most Miesian skyscrapers.

If you’re planning to go to the open house, organizers ask that you RSVP to