Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is known for many things—the Museum of Art’s “Rocky Steps,” delicious soft pretzels, and the Philly Cheesesteak. Philadelphia also has many buildings with impressive structures and heights. Of all the buildings in Philadelphia, which is the tallest?
The tallest building in Philadelphia is the 60-story Comcast Technology Center, which stands at a towering 1,121 feet. The skyscraper is part of the Comcast Center campus—a group of buildings in Philadelphia that serve as a center for culture, art, and technology.
The Comcast Technology Center is now a crucial part of the Philadelphia skyline. To find out about the Comcast Technology Center’s history, location, and interesting places to visit inside, check out the following sections.
Philadelphia City Hall was the Tallest Building
For over 80 years there was a gentlemen’s agreement not to build a building taller than the hat of William Penn’s statue on top of the 548-foot city hall. However, in 1983, Liberty Property Trust announced they would build a building taller than City Hall. Since then, multiple skyscrapers have been built taller than the city hall.
Anyone who has ever driven through downtown Philadelphia has almost certainly seen the Comcast Technology Center. The skyscraper is adorned with shiny, reflective glass panels and sleek, angled metal support bars that strengthen and beautify the facade of the building.
The building was designed by Foster+Partners, a British architectural company well known around the world for their high-profile designs in places from London, Spain, Abu Dhabi, South Korea, and just about everywhere in between.
The 1,121-foot Comcast Technology Center at 1800 Arch Street, which is in central Philadelphia, is now the tallest building in Philadelphia and stands amongst and above the other skyscrapers in the city center. Construction began in 2014, and the building was officially completed on November 27, 2017. It cost $1.5 billion to plan and construct the tallest building in the City of Brotherly Love.
Many passionate sports fans in the city believe that breaking the gentleman’s agreement cursed Philly’s many professional sports teams. This urban legend became a popular reason that fans claimed major professional sports teams from Philly didn’t win championships.
Keystone Answers Fun Fact: Philly ironworkers attached a mini statue of William Penn atop the Technology Center to reverse the curse of William Penn. The statue helped ease the fears of many sports fans in Philadelphia. Before the Technology Center was built, the tallest building in the city was the 974-foot Comcast Center, which also had a statue of William Penn placed on it.
Luckily, including a statue of William Penn on top of the building is not the only good thing the Comcast Technology Center has done for the city.
Comcast constructed this building to accompany their ever-expanding company. Comcast outgrew the smaller Comcast Center (also in Philadelphia) and needed somewhere else for employees to create and innovate. Comcast is a global technology and media company specializing in Internet, video, and phone services.
From theme parks to television, Comcast works in most spaces connected with technology. Comcast occupies most of the office space in the building. In addition, many other tenants are in the building, including the Four Seasons Hotel, retail stores, and restaurants.
The Comcast Technology Center helps the company continue to grow by giving employees healthy and creative spaces to enjoy while they’re at work. Actual offices are rare within the Comcast Technology Center. The architects designed the inside workspaces to be open while adding top-of-the-line noise dampening to control noise levels across the multi-level work areas.
The open areas help to contribute to a collaborative environment where employees can enjoy personal space without being separated from their teammates. Other healthy professional touches include desks that allow employees to stand at every workstation and bright lobbies with walls where visitors can rearrange pegs into the design of their liking.
There are no office phones in the building. Instead, employees handle all calls from a headset. The cloud storage in the building also allows them to transfer information like voicemails to their cell phones.
Many of the Comcast employees in the center are software engineers, and they are known to be very happy because their building has so much more than plain offices. The Technology Center is designed to help these employees be happy and satisfied as they work.
What’s in the Comcast Technology Center?
Though there are many corporate/professional spaces in the building, there are also attractions for visitors and tourists. For visitors to the building, the following are a few must-see attractions.
- The Universal Sphere – Found on the upper level of the lobby, this cinematic experience is free and offers guests inspiration about “the power of one.” In addition, the experience describes different brilliant minds that helped shape the world. In the presentation, various topics are discussed, from Steven Spielberg, Universal Resorts and Parks, DreamWorks Studios, and more. This activity is appropriate for all ages. Reserve your free ticket.
- The Comcast Experience – 27 million pixels capture visitors’ eyes as they enter the main lobby and see an LED continuous video wall that measures 2,100 square feet, one of the largest continuous LED displays in the world. Depending on the time of year, there are different scenes played across the wall. Sometimes the wall looks like an ocean with sharks, fish, and manta rays swimming in it. During the holidays, the wall displays various holiday-themed videos.
- The Comcast Holiday Spectacular – A free event where people gather at the center for sing-alongs and a virtual sleigh ride from the countryside to the skyscrapers of Philadelphia’s skyline. This event is usually held in the lobby of the building, and the video presentation lasts about 15 minutes.
- Public Art – International and local artists worked on different pieces throughout the Comcast Technology Center for employees and guests to enjoy. Beginning in the lobby, the ceiling has a digital scrolling display that features 17 hours of continuous content. The content ranges from writing by poets, architects, Philly schoolchildren, and other authors. Other mediums throughout the building include cast iron, polished stainless steel, sculptures, digital photos, and a water fountain.
- Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center – The 48th-56th floors contain a luxury hotel. This hotel is a five-star property with 219 rooms, 39 of which are suites. There are also two restaurants led by world-famous chefs. One Restaurant, JG Sky High Bar and Restaurant, is located on the 60th floor, surrounded by windows that overlook the surrounding city.
Though the focus of the Comcast Technology Center is professional, there are many places within the building that guests can explore, visit, and appreciate.
Does the Comcast Building Have an Observation Deck?
The Comcast Technology Center does not have an observation deck accessible to the public. Therefore, the highest views in the building are on the 59th and 60th floors.
The Jean-Georges Sky High Bar and Restaurant occupy these floors and offer panoramic views of the city. Though technically not an observation deck, this is Philly’s tallest publicly available viewpoint.
How Many Comcast Buildings are in Philadelphia?
Comcast has two main buildings in the city but also occupies much of the office space in a few additional buildings described below. All these spaces add to Comcast’s Center Campus, also known as the Urban Campus or vertical neighborhood.
The buildings that are part of the Urban campus are,
- Comcast Technology Center – The tallest building in Philly, the office space accommodates the latest job growth in the Comcast company.
- Comcast Center – Also known as the Comcast Tower. This skyscraper is 58 stories and stands at 974 feet tall; and was the tallest building in the city before the Technology Center was built. Most of the building is corporate space like offices, executive suites, and conference rooms. Comcast occupies the majority of these spaces. The building also has various eateries and retail spaces occupied by local companies.
- 2 Logan Square – Another high rise that has social/event spaces along with areas for corporate offices. Additionally, there is a fitness center and an outdoor plaza. Comcast has many offices in this building, which help the ever-expanding company have comfortable places for its employees to work.
- 3 Logan Square – Like 2 Logan Square, this building has corporate and conference/banquet areas. Right across the street from 2 Logan Square, this building is 739 feet tall, which makes it larger than 2 Logan. Comcast leases around 100,000 square feet of office space in this building.
All these buildings are next to each other, which helps keep the various corporate, cultural, artistic, and social events connected. These buildings house many tech employees and help keep Philadelphia on the cutting edge of the technology sector.
Who Owns the Comcast Center?
The Technology Center is co-owned by Comcast Corporation and Liberty Property Trust. Liberty Property Trust is a real estate trust that invests in industrial properties and office buildings.
The Heart of Philadelphia’s Skyline
The Comcast Technology Center is now a staple of the Philadelphia skyline. It is also an important part of the culture, art, tourism, and employment in the city. The influence of the building stretches far beyond its height. Philadelphians and visitors to the city can experience a snapshot of Philly’s history, culture, and art by visiting the inside of the center and learning about its history.