When the skyscraper now called Comcast Center, to be topped off at a ceremony today, was announced in 2001, it was to "rise up in a quiet way."
That changed in 2005 when Comcast Corp. leased most of the space. Instead of stone the color of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, its exterior would be glass and, architect Robert A.M. Stern promised, "spectacularly lit at night."
It became a symbol of Comcast's rapid rise to the top of Philadelphia business and the nation's cable television industry. Where church steeples and later City Hall were once the power symbols of the city's skyline, Comcast wanted its skyscraper to proclaim a vibrant new era in the birthplace of American democracy.