This November, Philadelphia residents and visitors began enjoying a view 883 feet above street level at the city’s new One Liberty Observation Deck.
Located in One Liberty Place, the attraction embraces the city’s rich history and highlights one of its most famous sons, inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin, in a big way. At the Observatory’s second floor entrance visitors first see Franklin’s giant legs and feet. After riding the elevator up to the 57th floor, visitors are greeted by Franklin’s geometric bust, complete with his characteristic wire-frame spectacles.
Chicago Scenic artists spent months in the Chicago shop sculpting the statue’s massive legs, shoes and head, then adding the patina-like coating of bluish-green paint. At the same time, Metals Department Head Beth Smith was meticulously forming Franklin’s spectacles. When all the pieces were completed, they were carefully packed and transported to Philadelphia. As an homage to Franklin’s famous kite and key electrical experiment, Observatory guests experience a simulated thunderstorm and lightning every four minutes.
BRC Imagination Arts led the Observation Deck’s creative development team. Following their initial design concept, Chicago Scenic, working with Observation Deck General Manager Evan Evans and management firm Montparnasse 56, engaged design firm Provost Studio to develop the final design. CSSI’s Project Director Ross Hamilton and Project Manager Will Burns managed this extensive design-build project.
Wall-sized murals designed by Peter Provost tell the story of Philadelphia’s rich cultural, sports and musical heritage. On the 57th floor, interactive kiosks offer guests the opportunity to zoom in on areas of the city and learn more about neighborhood attractions.