At Broad & Arch, Views From A Still Forgotten Tower

 

Liberty Title & Trust building | Photo: Hidden City Daily

Taken during demolition of Broad Street Station. Phialdelphia Historical Commission, 1953 | Photo: Lawrence Williams

Photo: James Dillon Collection, Athenaeum of Philadelphia

 

The 1929 Liberty Title & Trust Building at Broad and Arch Streets, the only existing building on the block to survive the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, remains empty a full year and a half after the enlarged facility opened.

The offices have been vacant since the Philadelphia Water Department moved out in the late 1990s. Until recently, a Dunkin Donuts occupied the street level corner, but it has closed.

The building, designed by the firm Savery & Scheetz, is owned by Realen Properties, who purchased it in 2008. Realen is the developer of the parking garage and retail project designed by Erdy McHenry Architecture being presently completed across Arch Street.

According to its website and previous media reports, Realen plans to convert the office building into a 150 room hotel. But multiple calls to the Berwyn-based real estate development firm seeking an update of the plans went unreturned.

The developer has recently tightened building security, after a spate of break-ins.


4 Comments


  1. Here are some photos of the vault and of the rooftop at night.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillyurbex/sets/72157631680613856/

  2. Thanks for that link! I took some shots of the vault but they all came out horrible….

  3. No problem! I’ve tried to do some research on this location myself. Everything i get keeps referring me back to the wachovia bank building. The building was owned by the Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Co. Which if you consult Wikipedia will tell you the company was a result of a merger in 1928. However, everything I find refers to the wachovia building. I know the trust owned a couple of buildings in the area. I believe that this tower was originally one of two towers. One of which was destroyed by the convention center expansion. Is it possible thst this building was the trust building that wikipedia says is the wachovia building? Check out the company name on the documents from the vault. http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0092009/photos/phillyurbex/8070780293/

  4. I built a Lego model of the Liberty Title and Trust. I’ll have to take it out there sometime and photograph it with the real building in the background: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rgb/17300295929/in/album-72157650240500884/

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Jewelry Designer Adds Flair To Old Stable In East Passyunk

Jewelry Designer Adds Flair To Old Stable In East Passyunk

October 9, 2019  |  Art & Design, Preservation

An old horse stable in South Philly finds a new function in the fashion world. Stacia Friedman takes a look inside > more

Salvage City: Recycling History One Object At A Time

Salvage City: Recycling History One Object At A Time

October 7, 2019  |  Art & Design

One person's trash is another person's treasure, especially in the world of architectural salvage. Jacqueline Drayer takes a look at a new art exhibition at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens through the lens of the city's reclaimed materials industry > more

Special Collections Show Their Stuff For Archives Month Philly

Special Collections Show Their Stuff For Archives Month Philly

October 3, 2019  |  History

Archives Month Philly kicks off with a long list of October events in the Delaware Valley. Kimberly Haas spoke to archivists from across the region to get the details on what's in store this year > more

The Crowning Glory Of Christ Church’s Steeple Comes Down For Restoration

The Crowning Glory Of Christ Church’s Steeple Comes Down For Restoration

September 26, 2019  |  Preservation

In Old City, Christ Church's 265-year-old weathervane come down from the steeple to undergo restoration. Kimberly Haas has the details > more

Op-ed: Spreading The Gospel Of Deadbox, One Bottle Cap At A Time

Op-ed: Spreading The Gospel Of Deadbox, One Bottle Cap At A Time

September 26, 2019  |  City Life

In this essay Len Davidson makes the case for resurrecting a long-lost Philly street game that once contributed to the vibrance of neighborhood life and the human connection of row house culture > more

Concrete Cowboy Of Southwest Philly Finds A New Home At Bartram's Garden

Concrete Cowboy Of Southwest Philly Finds A New Home At Bartram’s Garden

September 24, 2019  |  City Life

After being ousted from vacant, City-owned land, an urban cowboy and his posse of young protégées find a permanent place to hang their hats. Sam Newhouse has the news > more