The Sidney Hillman Medical Center, a modernist building at 2116 Chestnut St., is in the process of being torn down. According to Plan Philly, the building was designed by Magaziner & Ploss, and is barely sixty years old. Some argued for the preservation of this building, insisting that it represented an important example of modernist architecture in Philadelphia.
Looks like a High School. Image from Philly.com
Considering its location and our distaste for modernism, we’re not too bummed to lose this building, especially considering the project replacing it.
The demolition has been going on for a couple of weeks now.
Even more backlit
Replacing the building will be a new, mixed-use building developed by the John Buck Company, out of Chicago. The new building will feature ground floor retail on Chestnut St., new space for the Hillman Medical Center, and a 34-story tower of 309 residential rentals. Designs for the project come from Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, also based in Chicago.
Rendering of the new building
Van Pelt and Sansom Sts., we think?
Corner of Van Pelt and Chestnut Sts.
The building, as you can see, steps down to a four story brick facade on street level, allowing for better pedestrian interaction and better fitting with the two historic churches and the William Eyre building that surround it. Inquirer architcture critic Inga Saffron doesn’t care for the mixture of bricks and glass, humorously suggesting that the building looks like it got dressed in the dark.
Love or hate the design, you’d have to agree that this project is a tremendous sign for development in Philadelphia. Looking at it in conjunction with the AAA Building apartment conversion just up the street, nearly six-hundred new residential units are on tap for this area in the next couple of years. And considering we haven’t seen a new skyscraper in this town since the Residences at the Ritz Carlton went up over three years ago, 2116 Chestnut St. could be a source of new optimism for hibernating developers.