Plans for a 17-story tower at 205 Race Street in Philadelphia are back on track, but what will rise at the vacant site appears to be significantly more restrained than what was first envisioned. In 2012, Peter Gluck, then of Peter Gluck and Partners, unveiled dramatic renderings for a tower that had a facade clad in panels that seemed to disappear as they rose up an increasingly glassy exterior skin. The building, which sits adjacent to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, had ground-floor retail and was separated into two distinct volumes by a two-story cutout that opened up about fifty feet above the street. That plan was almost unanimously rejected by the Old City Civic Association.
As PhillyMag reported earlier this summer, Peter Gluck, at the renamed GLUCK+, updated the tower’s design and the project’s developer, Brown Hill, brought it before the Civic Design Review Committee. While the structure’s massing is roughly the same, its facade has been significantly toned down; it is now wrapped in two types of metal panels and plenty of glass (a spokesperson for GLUCK+ told AN that the design is still in the development phase).
The plan was approved by the committee and the project is expected to break ground early next year. It includes 148 rental apartments (20 more than in the first proposal), nearly 15,000 square feet for commercial use, and an 8,000-square-foot roof terrace. As PlanPhilly noted, 205 Race Street will be the first residential building in the city to get a density bonus for including affordable units—10 percent of the building will be designated affordable.