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10 Before-and-After Images Show a Transformed Philadelphia

Philadelphia skyline changes

Major changes have swept through Philadelphia over the past decade. From sleek high-rises downtown to resort-style student housing and contemporary residential communities in the suburbs, new architectural projects have grown up all across the city, bringing fresh waves of modernity to a variety of classic neighborhoods.

A Decade of Growth and Development, Visualized

With help from Google’s Street View, we have taken a peek into the past, to see just how much these exciting projects have transformed Philly’s neighborhoods. Take a look back with us, and see the changes that have reshaped Philadelphia by comparing street-level photos taken in 2007 to those taken recently (2014).

1. Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Dilworth Park – Center City

One of the most beautifully landscaped parks in Philly, Dilworth Plaza is nestled in the heart of Center City, just a few blocks from City Hall. The elegant Ritz- Carlton tower at 1414 S Penn Square lends its own stately facade to this area. With its 270 elite residences, ranging in size from 900 to over 3,000 square feet, the tower sets a new standard for luxury living in the heart of the city.

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2. 10 Rittenhouse – Center City

Poised at the center of Philadelphia’s most sophisticated neighborhoods, 10 Rittenhouse Square rises 33 stories above the exclusive shopping and dining of Walnut and Sansom streets. The tower’s 161 luxury residences offer access to an indoor pool and spa, a garden courtyard, a fitness center, and more.

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3. Chestnut Square Student Housing, Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building – University City

Located at 3200 Chestnut St, the Chestnut Square student housing complex sits right on campus, just minutes from Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. The Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building serves as a new landmark to the bustling neighborhood, with a contemporary exterior and a refreshing atrium that’s home to North America’s largest living biowall. The LEED-Gold certified, 150,000-square-foot building houses Drexel’s biology department.

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4. 2116 Chestnut Street – Center City

At the center of some of Philly’s hottest neighborhoods sits the 34-story 2116 Chestnut Street, a new icon that lends fresh flair to a classic neighborhood. Just minutes from Rittenhouse Square and University City, this gleaming tower hosts 321 apartments ranging from 607-square-foot studios all the way up to 1,262-square-foot two-bedrooms; all with access to the community’s sundeck, outdoor hot tub, fitness center, yoga room, and other exquisite amenities.

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5. Penn Medicine Washington Square – Washington Square

Sitting just a short walk from the tree-lined acres of Washington Square Park, and a few minutes from the heart of Center City, the new Penn Medicine building at 8th and Walnut Streets looks every bit as sleek as a cutting-edge medical facility should. As the main outpatient center for Pennsylvania Hospital, this facility brings together more than 100 experts in fields from cardiology to women’s health.

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6. Family Court Building – Logan Square

Bridging the crossroads between tree-filled Logan Square and the exciting energy of Center City, the Family Court Building hosts 25 city judges who oversee cases related to juveniles. With its contemporary facade, the building serves as a monument to municipal justice – and as a modern complement to the classical style of the old Family Court building on Vine St.

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7. 1900 Arch – Logan Square

From its vantage point at the center of Logan Square, 1900 Arch commands views of some of Philly’s most famous attractions. With Comcast Center and Market Street in walking distance, this complex’s luxury lofts serve as ideal homes for young professionals. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Schuylkill River Park Trail are also just minutes’ walk away from this cutting-edge, 14-story rental community.

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8. Morgan Hall – Yorktown

Temple University’s Morgan Hall brings a fresh feel to North Philadelphia’s Yorktown neighborhood, which is also home to the historic James R. Ludlow and William H. Harrison school buildings. With its glassy facade and innovative three-building layout, the hall houses about 1,275 students in a variety of single rooms and suites. The residential space is complemented by an elevated 30,000-square-foot terrace that creates viewpoints out to Broad Street and the surrounding neighborhood.

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9. Millennium Hall – Powelton Village

With homes dating back to the mid-1800s, Powelton village offers a true taste of Old Philadelphia – and the recently built Millennium Hall proves that this district can keep up with the latest architectural trends, too. As Drexel’s tallest building, the 17-story Millennium Hall opened its doors to students in 2009 and offers cinematic views of the Philly skyline.

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10. Colket Translational Research Building – University City

Vibrant West Philadelphia is home to a wide variety of attractions and cultural institutions, from Penn Park to the University of Pennsylvania Palestra – and the Colket Building is no exception. Located at 3501 Civic Center Blvd, the building’s sleek, glistening exterior encloses research facilities for a diverse group of researchers that compose the Center for Childhood Cancer Research (CCCR), including 56,000 square feet of lab space.

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Did we miss your favorite new Philly building or district? We’d love to hear about it! Share your own photos and comments, and you might just see them in a future RENTCafé post!

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About the author

Ama Otet

Ama Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time. You can connect with Ama on Twitter or via email.

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