The Future of Philly


As our home base for the Summer, any new development in Philadelphia is exciting for us at HudsonWorks because within a matter of moments we can be at any of the new projects sprouting up all across the city and get a good feel for them.

One of the largest such projects is a masterplan for the area surrounding 30th Street Station by Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), developed by Brandywine Realty Trust. West Philadelphia, and more specifically University City within West Philly, have experienced rapid change in past decade, transforming the formerly quiet neighborhood home to primarily college students, to a dynamic area full of life. The campuses of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University are modernizing and expanding their physical and social influence on the city more and more every day.

With this expansion, a lot of new development has been brought into the neighborhood to cater to these students, as well as numerous other businesses and people flocking to the area to take advantage of the growth around the campuses. Hundreds of formerly forlorn historic row homes in Powelton Village, University City, and further into West Philadelphia have been rehabbed and had new life breathed in them. This has created charming and affordable enclaves attracting Young Professionals and Students who continue to transform and resurrect the neighborhood.

Building upon the recent expansion of University City,  SOM’s Proposal, uses the newly restored 30th Street Station as a Catalyst for future development in the neighborhood, establishing new connections within the city and beyond. Via Infill, Restoration and Development of Parking Lots, SOM has imagined a truly beautiful and transformative plan for 30th Street Station, reconnecting people to the Schuylkill River and beyond.

One of the most exciting aspects of the project is the proposed development over the rail yards surrounding 30th Street Station to the West, East and North. Similarly to the Hudson Yards Mega-Development in New York, developing atop rail yards gives the city a chance to connect fragmented neighborhoods and utilize formerly unavailable land to vastly enhance the social and fiscal economy. We’re also excited about the potential to add two super-talls West of the Schuylkill River. The Cira Centre (437 feet), located directly North of 30th Street Station, is seemingly dwarfed by the tower to it’s North (Currently rail-yards). Another super-tall looms further west, proposing dominance over University City.

The prospect of bringing in so many jobs into this area not only helps to boost the local economy, but it also empowers the people of Philadelphia to connect more with their community, innovate in ways previously not possible and cultivate newfound pride for where they live.

Check out the full proposal below.


We cannot contain our excitement about this project as it has the potential to solidify Philadelphia’s place as one of the World’s most important centers of trade, innovation and education. Our Editor wrote an article on his experiences in Philadelphia, and was blown away by the character, creativity and vibrancy of the city. We can only hope that a project such as this will further enhance the City of Brotherly Love.



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