Hotel Palomar (Architects Building)

Philadelphia, PA

Exterior Envelope Repairs

Kimpton Hotels purchased the Architects Building and wanted to convert it from a Class C office building to a four-star boutique hotel. Gensler, the architect of record, engaged WJE to provide architectural- and engineering-related design services in relation to the adaptive reuse of the building.


The Architects Building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a twenty-four-story art deco office tower. Completed in 1931, it was home to the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for many years, and the local AIA bookstore occupied a large portion of the ground floor.


WJE architects performed a prepurchase condition survey of the building envelope, which identified the need for extensive stabilization efforts. The architects also conducted a building assessment and water testing to determine the necessity and extent of repairs.

As part of a large team of consultants, WJE was responsible for the design of the exterior envelope restoration, including repointing of masonry mortar joints, window replacement load ratings, restoration of the bronze storefronts, terra cotta repairs and replacement, evaluation and replacement of severely corroded steel, repair of cracked and spalled granite facade elements, and repair and replacement of cast stone window sills. WJE also peer reviewed the roofing and window details to meet the goals of the project in relation to the building envelope.

WJE provided on-site construction observation of the repair work to ensure that the level of workmanship in the field was consistent with the design intent conveyed in the contract documents. WJE also provided on-site engineering services to respond to unanticipated conditions. The hotel received a LEED gold rating and received federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.