Society Hill Towers

Coordinates: 39°56′44″N 75°08′41″W / 39.9455°N 75.1447°W / 39.9455; -75.1447
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Society Hill Towers
Society Hill Towers from Penn's Landing in 2016
General information
Architectural styleBrutalist
Location200 Locust Street
Society Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
CountryUnited States
Coordinates39°56′44″N 75°08′41″W / 39.9455°N 75.1447°W / 39.9455; -75.1447
InauguratedOctober 21, 1964
Technical details
Floor count32
Design and construction
Architect(s)I. M. Pei and Associates
Awards and prizesAmerican Institute of Architects: Institute Honor Award
Progressive Architecture Award for Design (1961)[1]
DesignationsPhiladelphia Register of Historic Places

Society Hill Towers is a three-building condominium located in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The complex contains three 31-story skyscrapers with 624 units on a 5-acre (2.0 ha) site.[1] The towers were designed by I. M. Pei and Associates and are constructed of cast-in-place concrete, with each apartment featuring floor-to-ceiling windows.[2] Completed in 1964, the apartments were originally rental units but were converted to condominiums in 1979.[1]


In the late 1950s, Society Hill was considered a slum neighborhood,[2] which was targeted for redevelopment by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and the Redevelopment Authority.[1] From 1957 to 1959, the Greater Philadelphia Movement, the Redevelopment Authority, and the Old Philadelphia Development Corporation bought 31 acres (130,000 m2) around Dock Street. They relocated and demolished the Dock Street Market, setting aside 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land that would become the Society Hill Towers.[3] In 1957, Edmund Bacon, the executive director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, awarded developer-architect firm Webb and Knapp the competition for the redevelopment of Society Hill. Architect I. M. Pei and his team created a plan for three 31-story Society Hill Towers as well as the Society Hill Townhouses, a low-rise project.[4] The Towers and Townhouses project was completed in 1964, while the entire plan was completed in 1977.[5]

The buildings were listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places on March 10, 1999.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "History" on the Society Hill Towers website
  2. ^ a b Gallery, John Andrew, ed. (2004), Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City (2nd ed.), Philadelphia: Foundation for Architecture, ISBN 0962290815, p. 119
  3. ^ Le Faivre-Rochester, Carole (2003). "Society Hill Towers: A Bold and Graceful Venture". In Baron, Herman (ed.). I. M. Pei and Society Hill: A 40th Anniversary Celebration. Philadelphia: Diane Publishing Co. p. 35.
  4. ^ Perkins, Dorothy (2003). "Biography of I. M. Pei". In Baron, Herman (ed.). I. M. Pei and Society Hill: A 40th Anniversary Celebration. Philadelphia: Diane Publishing Co. p. 8.
  5. ^ Le Faivre-Rochester, p. 36.

External links[edit]