December 27, 2004

Located directly in the middle of Center City, the Philadelphia City Hall observation deck offers some of the best urban views anywhere. Open only from 9:15 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays, it's tough for us 9 to 5 people to get up there.
(Who ever invented the term 9 to 5 anyway? That would be great.)

With some vacation time to burn at the end of 2004, I took a few extra days off near Christmas and made it to the observation deck on December 27. I had been there the winter before, but in the afternoon the angle of the sun just isn't right. This morning trip, with an improved camera, was much better.

A few shots before going up to the observation deck. Random Chinatown:

Not-so-random Chinatown:

Near 11th and Vine. These flowers do pretty well in the winter.

Loft conversion waiting to happen

I had lunch elsewhere

Inside City Hall. Elevators on the 7th floor. That's the highest you can take the elevators. After that, it's stairs to the 9th.

Great, but which way is the tower?

Oh, thanks.

Fairmont neighborhood (foreground) and Girard University (North-Northeast)

Norman Blumberg Apartments

West Philadelphia (WNW)

From foreground to background: Northern Liberties neighborhood, I95, Waterfront Square complex (under construction), Delaware River, Petty's Island (upper right), Betsy Ross Bridge, and Pennsauken, NJ (NE)

Inquirer Building and North Broad Street (N)

Cityview Condominiums complex (foreground center), City Avenue skyline, and Roxborough towers (NW)

Close-up of City Ave buildings and Roxborough Towers. The 20-story Adam's Mark Hotel on the left could be demolished to make way for a Target regional headquarters.

Some views from the Wyndham Hotel (foreground) can be seen here. Cityview Condominiums complex is in the background.

Medical Tower (SW)

Spring Garden Towers and Museum Towers, my old building (NW)

Glaxo SmithKline Building (NW)

One Parkway (NW)

Centre Square I (SW)

Bell Atlantic Tower stands above the Ben Franklin Parkway (NW)

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Philadelphia (S)

Claes Oldenburg's Clothespin

City Hall's tower casts an imposing shadow on the Municipal Services Building (NE)

The good stuff to the west: Two Liberty Place, One Liberty Place, and the Mellon Bank Center

The Cira Centre under construction. (W)

Looking up the Ben Franklin Parkway to the northwest: Logan Circle, Art Museum Circle, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Ben Franklin Bridge (E)

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