Cira with the cirrus


I just wanted to run this picture. It’s yet another example of surrealism in Philadelphia — this time outside a museum. I found the picture in today’s NY Times in a story by Maureen Milford. Read. (lrrfartblog, password: artblog)

Milford tells about the new Cesar Pelli-designed crystal palace, the Cira Center, rising in Philadelphia next to 30th St. Station. You can’t miss this building since it juts up 29 stories and sits by itself on the vast arrid plain of the railroad yard next to the amtrak station. Check out Pelli’s website. Very Flash and very great pictures of cities and buildings.
shaffer, tim

This Pelli building, described as “a 727,725-square-foot building with a glass curtain wall” is remarkable for its seeming transparncy of skin and for its non-standard shape. It’s shaped like a crystal that looks covered with a silver skin and at night with the construction lights on in all 29 floors it’s just odd. Odd and compelling, as in you almost can’t keep your eyes off it and on the road when driving along on the Schuylkill Expressway. At least if you’re me you can’t.

Not yet finished, the Cira is nearly 75 percent leased. Tenants include two top-tier Philadelphia law firms relocating from center city. Together those two tenants will take up 12 floors. There’s controversy surrounding the building because the city gave big tax breaks to the new residents including the established law firms (like they need a subsidy?) — and because the building is seen as helping to drain the already leaky center city office market which has a 16 percent vacancy rate, the highest in ten years.

photo by Tim Shaffer for The New York Times


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