Aug 26, 2022 - News

Philly's biggest eyesores, according to readers

Illustration of buildings drawn in an ugly, sloppy style and a sun that doubles as a smiley face with its tongue sticking out.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

While Philly has plenty of world-class architecture and historical charm, it also has its share of flops and fails.

State of play: We asked readers to call out the worst offenders in the City of Brotherly Love and they delivered.

  • Yes, but: No clear consensus emerged. Readers spread their disdain throughout the city.

Here are a few of our favorite answers:

25th Street Viaduct in South Philly

The 25th Street Viaduct in South Philly
The 25th Street Viaduct in South Philly. Photo courtesy of Google Maps

This eyesore is not only crumbling and dangerous but it's a magnet for illegal dumping.

  • The hulking railroad bridge stretches over a mile and ugly netting was installed to catch collapsing concrete from its underside.

What they're saying: "It not only looks straight from a scary movie, it is also collapsing on moving vehicles and pedestrians in real time," Axios Philly reader Perla C. writes.

The intrigue: Transportation company CSX, which owns the bridge, has yet to follow through with promises to renovate the dilapidated viaduct for years.

The Philadelphia Mint

The U.S. Mint building in Philadelphia
Exterior of United States Mint in Philadelphia. Photo: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty

This faceless building on N Independence Mall East is an easy target to loathe.

Reader Marcus S. writes that the huge, industrial U.S. Mint facility's lack of windows isn't even in "mint" condition.

  • "It needs to be torn down in favor of homes, businesses, historic educational and recreational spaces," he said.

Of note: The Philadelphia Mint is the largest mint in the world, covering more than five acres.

PECO Building

The PECO building in Philadelphia
The PECO Building. Photo: Alexa Mencia/Axios

Some could do without the 27-story PECO building and its crown of lights that overlook the Schuylkill River on Market Street.

What they're saying: "I have a grudge against the PECO building for being so hideous and for blasting every window in a 15-block radius with moving, changing, colored lights all night," wrote one reader.

Comcast Technology Center

The Comcast Technology Center
Comcast Technology Center. Photo: Alexa Mencia/Axios

OK, I was a little surprised by this one.

The slender, 60-story glass-and-steel tower is the tallest in the city and among the tallest in the U.S. — if you count the switchblade mast.

What they're saying: "I'm all for a little Philly sass, but does our city's most prominent building really have to be flipping us all off?" writes Anne C.

  • She also called out the "building's stiff, central appendage" for being purely to score additional height.

Thought bubble: The building looks like a giant vape pen to me!

Hyatt Centric Center City

This modernist hotel seems a little out of place among its historic neighbors, according to one reader.

  • Located in Rittenhouse Square at 17th and Chancellor Streets, the hotel opened its doors in 2020 in the teeth of the pandemic.

What they're saying: "It belongs in a shopping mall not in a historic area where its ugly flat motel room exterior rear overwhelms beautiful St. Marks Church and the other historic buildings," writes Bonnie S.

Flashback: The development led to the demise of the much-loved Little Pete's diner, which sat on the ground floor below a parking garage.

And, some notable mentions:


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