The hulking Penn Tower, an aging building that served as housing for Penn Medicine, has been undergoing demolition for nearly a year to make room for the hospital's new patient pavilion, designed by Foster + Partners.
Recently, Penn Museum posted an Instagram photo that showed how its backdrop has changed since the tower's demolition.
Our landscape looks a little different today. Penn Tower (originally built as the Hilton Hotel of Philadelphia) has loomed over the Museum since its construction in 1975; it is currently being demolished to make way for a New Patient Pavilion for the @uofpenn Health System. Today, for the first time in decades, the old Penn Tower is no longer visible from our Warden Garden.
Fun fact: Penn Museum has used vibration sensors to protect its thousands of artifacts during the entire demolition process.
Meanwhile, plans for the new $1.5 billion patient pavilion were OK'd last week by the city planning commission. It will include 500 patient rooms, an ER department, and a parking garage.
The plans were approved ahead of the Civic Design Review (CDR). When questioned by design committee chair Nancy Rogo Trainer why the plans were being presented without the committee's input, presenter Martin Gregorski said they were waiting until final plans were approved by Penn before bringing it to the CDR.
A spokesperson for Penn told the Philadelphia Inquirer that those plans are still "in the early stages."