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  #81  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 1:07 AM
Jelly Roll Jelly Roll is offline
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Originally Posted by Private Dick View Post
Yeah, Detroit's collection of pre-war talls is very impressive. Neither Boston nor Philly can match by a long shot in my opinion. Penobscot, Book, Stott, Cadillac, Book-Cadillac Hotel, Eaton/Broderick... don't forget those as well.
Philly and Detriot is a toss up to me. Both were booming during that era.
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  #82  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 1:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Chicago, yes, is ahead of Detroit and #2, but Detroit is probably #3 on the planet in terms of prewar towers.

Detroit has extremely strong prewar heritage. The Fisher and Guardian alone have few rivals anywhere. I can't think of any prewar towers in Philly or Boston that reach that type of iconic quality.
Philadelphia's City Hall does not reach that kind of iconic quality?

What about the Loews? Originally the PSFS building.

One South Broad? Originally the PNB Building.

The Drake? Renaissance Inn? Philadelphia Inquirer Building? The Grande? Penn Center Suburban Station? Edison Building? The Hyatt at Bellevue? 1631 Arch?

There are some pretty great prewar towers in Philadelphia. I would definitely say City Hall and PSFS are iconic for sure. Maybe not so much Boston, but Philadelphia for sure.
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  #83  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 2:19 AM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
Philadelphia? Chicago? Boston? These cities have highrises of architectural perfection as well.
Don't be silly, Chicago is an architectural wasteland and certainly does not contain a single architecturally significant highrise.
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  #84  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 3:02 AM
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
Philadelphia's City Hall does not reach that kind of iconic quality?

What about the Loews? Originally the PSFS building.

One South Broad? Originally the PNB Building.

The Drake? Renaissance Inn? Philadelphia Inquirer Building? The Grande? Penn Center Suburban Station? Edison Building? The Hyatt at Bellevue? 1631 Arch?

There are some pretty great prewar towers in Philadelphia. I would definitely say City Hall and PSFS are iconic for sure. Maybe not so much Boston, but Philadelphia for sure.
I get that it's subjective, but I would say no, to all these. The Fisher is freakin incredible. Detroit was like the Dubai of the 1920's.

All those Philly buildings are awesome too, but the Fisher, with the ridiculous numbers of types of marble, the ultra-ornate theater, the gold tiles on the roof, is/was just too much, IMO (if we're talking this very narrow typology of prewar skyscrapers). Unfortunately the theater was "modernized" in the 60's but the lobby is still jaw-dropping, and ranks with any office building on earth.

And the craziest thing about the Fisher was that it was one of three buildings, the tallest to be 60 floors, but the recession ended all that. The Guardian Building is amazing too, but, to me, the Guardian is just amazing as a lobby; the Fisher is amazing in every respect. It even has a series of tunnels and the like, which are like out of Batman.
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  #85  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 4:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jelly Roll View Post
Philly and Detriot is a toss up to me. Both were booming during that era.

Both were booming, but Philly stayed short.

That's the difference to me. Detroit was building masterpieces to the clouds, while Philly built masterpieces shorter than Billy Penn.
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  #86  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 5:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Private Dick View Post
Both were booming, but Philly stayed short.

That's the difference to me. Detroit was building masterpieces to the clouds, while Philly built masterpieces shorter than Billy Penn.
5 tallest prewar buildings in each city

Detroit
1. Penobscot Building- 565 feet
2. Guardian Building- 496 feet
3. Book Tower- 475 feet
4. Fisher Building- 444 feet
5. Cadillac Tower- 437 feet

Philadelphia
1. City Hall- 548 feet
2. Loews Philadelphia Hotel (PSFS Building)- 492 feet
3. One South Broad (PNB Building)- 472 feet
4. Wells Fargo Building- 405 feet
5. The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia- 396 feet

I don't see much of a difference in height lol.
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  #87  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 6:27 PM
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Do you consider Tulsa part of the South? or more "midwestern" ?
allow me to interject. interesting question, as a midwestern observer, tulsa feels like a midwestern city with a heavy southern plains influence, whereas oklahoma city feels like a southern plains city with a midwestern influence. tulsa feels like a long lost slightly more southern plains-y cousin to kansas city, to me. it's definitely an outlier, there are no cities to the east (that far south) that are like tulsa, with it's midwestern influence.
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  #88  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 8:09 PM
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post

I don't see much of a difference in height lol.
I do. Every building you list is taller in Detroit than in Philly.

And the first building you list for Philly isn't even an office building. You're comparing a clock tower to an office building, with no floors or anything. It's like comparing a television tower to a regular building or something.

The second building you mention is a modernist building built in the 30's, and is not really associated with the 1920's skyscraper boom. Really only the last three buildings are comparable to the five you mention for Detroit.
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  #89  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 8:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I do. Every building you list is taller in Detroit than in Philly.

And the first building you list for Philly isn't even an office building. You're comparing a clock tower to an office building, with no floors or anything. It's like comparing a television tower to a regular building or something.

The second building you mention is a modernist building built in the 30's, and is not really associated with the 1920's skyscraper boom. Really only the last three buildings are comparable to the five you mention for Detroit.
?? Are you forgetting about the entire bottom of the building? It's an entire block in width, and use for government offices... So hilarious that you're comparing Philadelphia's City Hall to a television tower

I didn't know Philadelphia's City Hall suddenly doesn't count as a building:

http://www.infoplease.com/us/history...city-hall.html

And the buildings I list for Detroit are only slightly taller... a few feet in some instances.
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  #90  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 8:20 PM
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  #91  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2014, 8:43 PM
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Prewar buildings over 300 feet

Detroit: 13 total

1. Penobscot Building- 47 floors- 565 feet
2. Guardian Building- 40 floors- 496 feet
3. Book Tower- 38 floors- 475 feet
4. Fisher Building- 30 floors- 444 feet
5. Cadillac Tower- 40 floors- 437 feet
6. David Scott Building- 32 floors- 437 feet
7. Broderick Tower Lofts- 35 floors- 369 feet
8. Buhl Building- 29 floors- 366 feet
9. Westin-Book Cadillac Detroit- 29 floors- 349 feet
10. First National Building- 26 floors- 341 feet
11. Dime Building- 23 floors- 324 feet
12. AT&T Building- 19 floors- 319 feet
13. Penobscot Annex- 23 floors- 310 feet
http://www.emporis.com/city/detroit-...ting-buildings

Philadelphia: 19 total
1. Philadelphia City Hall- 10 floors- 548 feet
2. Loews Philadelphia Hotel (PSFS Building)- 36 floors- 492 feet
3. One South Broad (PNB Building)- 28 floors- 472 feet
4. Wells Fargo Building- 29 floors- 405 feet
5. The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia- 30 floors- 394 feet
6. Aria- 33 floors- 389 feet
7. The Drake- 33 floors- 375 feet
8. Medical Tower- 33 floors- 364 feet
9. Residence Inn Philadelphia- 24 floors- 348 feet
10. Land Title & Trust Building Annex- 23 floors- 344 feet
11. Philadelphia Inquirer Building- 19 floors- 340 feet
12. The Grande- 25 floors- 336 feet
13. Penn Center Suburban Station- 20 floors- 330 feet
14. Edison Building- 23 floors- 325 feet
15. Hotel Palomar Philadelphia- 24 floors- 313 feet
16. 1500 Walnut- 23 floors- 313 feet
17. 1616 Walnut- 24 floors- 309 feet
18. Rittenhouse 222- 27 floors- 304 feet
19. Penn Mutual Life Building- 20 floors- 300 feet
http://www.emporis.com/city/philadel...ng-buildings/4
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  #92  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2014, 4:49 AM
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^ The numbers seem pretty comparable to me, detroit has maybe a bit more higher end height, but Philly brings more buildings to the table. Philly clearly has the more cohesive downtown environment, but detroit maybe has more knock-out individual towers. I'm willing to call it a tie.

Does anyone want to take serious exception to the following top 5:

1. NYC
2. Chicago
3. (tie) Detroit
3. (tie) Philly
5. Pittsburgh
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  #93  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2014, 6:24 AM
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I'd like to give Kansas City a shout-out for a great collection but overall I'm with Steely Dan.
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  #94  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2014, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
5 tallest prewar buildings in each city

Detroit
1. Penobscot Building- 565 feet
2. Guardian Building- 496 feet
3. Book Tower- 475 feet
4. Fisher Building- 444 feet
5. Cadillac Tower- 437 feet

Philadelphia
1. City Hall- 548 feet
2. Loews Philadelphia Hotel (PSFS Building)- 492 feet
3. One South Broad (PNB Building)- 472 feet
4. Wells Fargo Building- 405 feet
5. The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia- 396 feet

I don't see much of a difference in height lol.
City Hall, while an incredible building and one of my favorite, is hardly a pre-war skyscraper. The PSFS building technically is a pre-war, though I have to agree with Crawford in that its International style isn't really associated with the classic skyscraper period.

Regardless, Detroit's examples are taller and, in my opinion, simply better than Philly's much more plain offerings from the era.
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  #95  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2014, 1:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
^ The numbers seem pretty comparable to me, detroit has maybe a bit more higher end height, but Philly brings more buildings to the table. Philly clearly has the more cohesive downtown environment, but detroit maybe has more knock-out individual towers. I'm willing to call it a tie.

Does anyone want to take serious exception to the following top 5:

1. NYC
2. Chicago
3. (tie) Detroit
3. (tie) Philly
5. Pittsburgh
It's obviously a subjective exercise, but I think a clear distinction can be made for Detroit alone in the 3 spot. Detroit's stand-outs are simply more iconic examples and, in fact, monuments, to the period -- the city being very well-known for its collection of pre-depression/pre-war commercial skyscrapers. Philly has a great collection, no doubt... but in comparison with Detroit's representatives, Philadelphia's are more bland (especially for the period -- Quaker conservatism on display) and shorter overall.
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  #96  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2014, 2:43 AM
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From cities I've seen in the states in person.
1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. Detroit
4. Philadelphia
5. Pittsburgh
6. Buffalo
7. Seattle
8. Boston
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  #97  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2014, 8:24 PM
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No doubt NYC and Chicago are #1 and #2, respectively.

As for number three, the fight seems to be mainly between Detroit and Philly. I have been to both cities fairly recently (Philly last Sept, Detroit in '09) and have to agree that its essentially a tie for the two cities

Philadelphia definitely has many many many more art deco buildings, but when it comes to the buildings over 300', Detroit's examples are just a bit more jaw dropping. The use of colorful brick contrasted by white terracotta on buildings like the David Scott, the Native American motifs on The Guardian Building, and the graceful proportions of the Fisher Building win me over on Detroit. With Philly on the other hand, City Hall is amazingly ornate, and i absolutely love PSFS (stayed at the Loews) even if its not what most people think of when they think "pre-war".

Philly's larger collection is offset by Detroit's more varied design, putting them both equal in my book. Thus, the rest of my list is as follows:

#3 Detroit (tie)
#3 Philly (toe)
#5 Pittsburgh
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  #98  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2014, 10:06 PM
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Toronto, 1940. Unfortunately the Royal York Hotel, one of the city's major skyscrapers at the time, is just out of view on the left.


Toronto In Historic Photographs ....1940 Aerial View Of Downtown Toronto by Greg's Southern Ontario (catching up slowly), on Flickr
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  #99  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 1:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
^ The numbers seem pretty comparable to me, detroit has maybe a bit more higher end height, but Philly brings more buildings to the table. Philly clearly has the more cohesive downtown environment, but detroit maybe has more knock-out individual towers. I'm willing to call it a tie.

Does anyone want to take serious exception to the following top 5:

1. NYC
2. Chicago
3. (tie) Detroit
3. (tie) Philly
5. Pittsburgh
I would say that is about as close as to a definitive list as possible.
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