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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Liberty Place is a skyscraper complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The complex is composed of a 61-story 945-foot (288 m) skyscraper called One Liberty Place, a 58-story 848-foot (258 m) skyscraper called Two Liberty Place, a two-story shopping mall called the Shops at Liberty Place, and the 14-story Westin Philadelphia Hotel. Prior to the construction of Liberty Place, there was a "gentlemen's agreement" not to build any structure in Center City higher than the statue of William Penn on top of Philadelphia City Hall.
The tradition lasted until 1984 when developer Willard G. Rouse III of Rouse & Associates announced plans to build an office building complex that included two towers taller than City Hall. There was a great amount of opposition to the construction of the towers with critics believing breaking the height limit would lead to construction of many more tall skyscrapers, ruining the livability and charm of Center City. Despite the opposition, construction of One Liberty Place was approved and the first phase of the project began in 1985 and was completed in 1987. When One Liberty Place was completed, it was the tallest skyscraper in Philadelphia.
Phase 2 of the project included Two Liberty Place, a hotel, a shopping mall, and a parking garage. Construction began 1988 after Cigna agreed to lease the entirety of the skyscraper. Construction was completed in 1990, making Two Liberty Place the second-tallest building in the city. The two towers held their place as first and second tallest buildings in Philadelphia until the Comcast Center was topped off in 2007. Liberty Place was received enthusiastically by critics and led to the construction of other tall skyscrapers giving Philadelphia what architecture critic Paul Goldberger called "one of the most appealing skylines of any major American city".
Hotel And Mall:
The Westin Philadelphia is a 14-story hotel located on 17th Street. The Westin contains 289 rooms, 14,000 square feet (1,300 m2) of meeting space, a ballroom, and a restaurant. Near the entrance of the Westin on 17th Street is the entrance to Liberty Place's underground parking garage. The four-story garage, which also has an entrance on 16th street, has room for 750 cars.
The Shops at Liberty Place contains 143,000 square feet (13,000 m2). The two story mall faces Chestnut Street between 16th and 17th Street. The mall was designed to contain between 80 and 85 stores, including a food court area. The mall's main feature is a round atrium that is topped by a large glass dome. The dome allows in a large amount of light into the mall and allows views of the Liberty Place towers and the PNC Bank Building. The glass dome is based on the main conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden.
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