Thomas Jefferson University is one of the greatest medical universities in the country. As a result, they are continually expanding, with a 40% increase in student enrollment in the past five years. So, they need to expand their administrative space as they seek to expand their academic space. But, they are located in one of the most developed and congested parts of the city. That means that they must expand in an urban way by building on small lots of land and building more highrises.
To accommodate their growing student body and faculty, they have decided to build an 11-storey highrise at 9th & Walnut Streets, where the Hunter Hand Institute used to be. This new building will be attached to the 3-storey 909 Walnut Building, where Jefferson has ambulatory neurosciences programs and care. It will, also, be connected to the Edison Building at 9th & Sansom Streets. The Edison Building was originally the headquarters of the Philadelphia Electric Company, now called PECO. Jefferson took it over some time ago to use it primarily for administrative office space.
The university has been creating new individual medical colleges, including a School of Nursing, School of Population Health, and a School of Pharmacy. These new schools have increasing needs for office space for faculty, advisors, financial aid workers, and other administrative functions. Jefferson would like to move these administrative functions out of other buildings that surround their new plaza at 10th & Locust Streets into the Edison Building, and this new 901 Walnut Building, to make way for more academic and classroom space in the buildings surrounding the plaza. They, also, intend to move ambulatory neurosciences functions to the second and third floors of the new building. This would allow them to expand the ambulatory neurosciences programs in 909 Walnut towards 9th Street. Then they would have administrative offices for the new colleges on floors 4 through 11 with connections to Edison that would allow full floors from Walnut to Sansom for the offices of these various schools. The upper floors of Edison would then be used primarily for the university’s “back office” functions, such as finance and IT departments.
The new building is designed to resemble the Edison Building with a post-modern design. It will add height to that stretch of Walnut and allow Jefferson to have their nameplate on Walnut Street, underneath the one on the south side of the Edison Building. 901 Walnut will be at the same intersection as Will’s Eye Hospital and a block away from the new Liberty Parkway Tower at 8th & Walnut Streets. Construction is already well underway and is expected to be completed by early next year.
I have a link to a video about the building featuring Dr. Robert L. Barchi, President of Jefferson University, from the Jefferson website and some renderings and pictures here.