1701 Sansom Street
The conception of this building started in the 1950's. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange was in such dire straits that it moved out of its building at 1411 Walnut Street because the rent in the building next door (the Manufacturer's Club) was cheaper. That's pretty fucked up. They moved next door to the building that still has their name on it. FUCKED UP. Business was so slow that the traders on the floor were literally making more money playing backgammon with each other than trading stocks.
|Trading floor of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Manufacturer's Club, 9th Floor, 1955.|
Instead of the cool-ass old building that already had its name sculpted on it in motherfucking stone, they chose to move into a new, modern building that would show off how high tech the Exchange would become. The recently-built jumble of glass-and-concrete rectangles known as Penn Center were a big hit, and the Central Business District of the city was successfully moving West.
|Yes, so modern. This is from Broad and JFK, looking West, early 1960's. Pic from Cardcow.com|
|Oh, the boxes. Believe it or not, this view is from 18th and JFK, looking East. BTW, the Comcast Center is now to the left, the BNY Mellon Bank Center is to the right. Pic from Cardcow.com|
|Rendering of the new Stock Exchange.|
As their 15 year lease was coming to a close, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange had grown and merged and associated itself all over the place. It was ready to get out of that shitbird of a building and build a goddamn skyscraper at 18th and Market. The NIMBYs at the William Penn House next door squashed the idea down to a crappy 8-storey building that's cool on the inside but looks like assinthrope from the outside. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange moved out of 17th and Sansom in 1981.
The building stood as crappy ZZZZ-level offices for almost 2 decades. In 1998, the city tried to bolster some shit up in the neighborhood by naming the area "the French Quarter". The French theme attracted attention from the French company Accor, who announced that they purchased the old Stock Exchange building and would be turning a luxury hotel under their Sofitel brand. They would get New York architects Brennan Beer Gorman to un-Klingify the tower and make it a little less Butt-Fugly.
|I believe this is the rendering.|
|The 2000 addition on the building. Sacre Blarf!!|