|"I am Skyline Blocker! Destroyer of Worlds!!"|
This motherfucker fails in a lot of ways. It meets the street with a big white wall and a driveway. It has a stairway down to 24th Street that's basically just a vertical bum bathroom. The office space is below street level. The numbers at the top are in Star Trek movie ship registry numbers font (officially called Final Frontier Shipside). Also, the building is named after its address, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.
|These are cutting-edge stairs in that you will cut your head on the edges of if you stumble while going down.|
|In case you forgot|
|Not bad, considering the year.|
|Pedestrian Friendly by 1970s standards.|
Meanwhile, you had this big empty lot on 24th Street between Walnut and Chestnut, cleared for that 1960s shit that never happened. It was at this point that the Arthur A. Kober construction company teamed up with developer Morton Berman and formed 2400 Chestnut Associates, a concern that would aim to build a mixed use apartment/office/parking superplex that could bring this spot into the next decade. Armed with some Section 221(d)(4) mortgage insurance from HUD, they commissioned Thomas Mangan's firm out of Fort Washington to design this 1970s Ass Party of Concrete Lego Cloaca Cream.
As with most construction in Philadelphia, the city gave them shit over every last design decision. Not enough handicapped access. Not fire safe enough. Parking garage no good. Even after construction began, the developer kept getting shit from the city over what they were doing. After several YEARS of back-and-forth with the Zoning Board of Adjustments, they were finally granted all their variances in February 1979 so that construction could FINALLY get overwith. They officially opened the building later that same year.
|There goes that Final Frontier Shipside|
Fast forward 20 years, when the Schuylkill River Trail came into being. Suddenly, 2400 Chestnut was getting noticed again (besides that 1999 incident about that guy amassing a huge weapons stockpile inside). While before only Penn students and office workers in that part of Center City would even walk by this thing, it was now getting inundated with onlookers from the heavily-used trail below while still rocking its 1979-built street level presence. In 2009, Brett Webber architects designed for them a new lobby and changed some of the street level signage to a more modern look. The same firm has offices in the building. At the time, the mega-kickass Mandeville Place was about to begin construction next door, but never happened.
|You're DRIVING me crazy, auto-centric building!!|
|24th Street side... It sucks!|