1401 Spruce Street
The Classic Revival façade and 1920s lobbies of this once-great office building are thoughtfully preserved in its transformation to generous and luxurious residential apartments in Philadelphia’s revitalized cultural district.
Post Brothers Apartments, one of Philadelphia’s most innovative developers of residential property, commissioned Viñoly to design the adaptive reuse of 1401 Spruce Street, an iconic tower on the Avenue of the Arts in downtown Philadelphia across the street from the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (also designed by Viñoly in 2001). The 21-story Joseph Kuntz-designed tower was erected in 1922 as the headquarters for the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company. The building, clad primarily in terracotta with elaborate classical details, is designed in a Classical Revival style and arranged in three parts: a four-story base, a 13-story shaft, and a three-story top crowned by an elaborate cornice. The 21st floor is a penthouse set back from the perimeter.
A rational rectangular steel column grid and a central elevator core characterize the existing interior. The corner bays of the building were left column free in the original design. Large living, dining, and kitchen areas now occupy these open spaces with expansive views across Philadelphia.
Five of the original nine elevators were removed and this floor area has been captured in the apartment interiors. The resulting floor plans are highly efficient (gross area / net area = 1.13), which maximizes the return on investment.
The apartments are provided with shared amenities, including a cigar bar, billiard room, fitness center, business center, and a roof top event space with exterior terrace. The residential portion of the building is provided with a new lobby and entry located on Spruce Street, which emphasizes the residential transformation of the building.
The entrance to the 13,000 square feet of retail is segregated from the residential entrance and is located around the corner on the Avenue of the Arts accessed from the tower’s original entrance.
In keeping with the luxurious nature of the building, private parking is provided in the existing two-level basement utilizing innovative robotic parking technology and an automobile elevator directly accessible from the residential lobby.
This conversion of 1401 Spruce Street respectfully preserves the existing Classical Revival façade while providing luxury interior finishes and generous apartment layouts. The design blends harmoniously with the historic and contemporary buildings in this central Philadelphia neighborhood.