Morning Headlines: 500 Walnut Gets Design Approval Recommendation

The Historical Commission gives the Scannpieco Development project the thumbs up.

The proposed 500 Walnut tower that would overlook Independence Hall may have already received zoning approval, but its developer and architect still had one more group to convince for its design last week. This past Friday, they got just that as the Philadelphia Historical Commission gave the newly tweaked building an approval recommendation.

PlanPhilly’s Matt Golas reports Cecil Baker, the architect chosen for the Scannapieco Development project, presented his alterations before the commission, the commission’s Architectural Committe and the Philadelphia Art Commission. Changes included a proposal for the use of “greenish glass and metal curtain walls, with areas of stone classing to the base” and “a mix of metal-frame windows and multi-story window walls” for the upper floors.

Baker’s adjustments to 500 Walnut comes from input he received from commission members, local residents and the National Park Service. Here’s more from PlanPhilly:

Cecil Baker described a punched-hole architectural style that will be employed around three-quarters of the building. At the request of the National Park Service, he chamfered the building to preserve the views from the Liberty Bell to blue sky behind the Independence Hall tower. Baker noted how the front of the building relates to the scale and proportions of the neighboring Egyptian Revival remnant at the Penn Mutual building.

But while the vote was a unanimous one in favor of recommending approval for its design, Golas adds that commissioner Dominque Hawkins suggested “further study” of the Walnut Street facade because “it’s neither here nor there right now and its trying to do too many things.”

Historical Commission calls for 500 Walnut design approval [PlanPhilly]

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