Location: Philadelphia, PA
Project Scope: Maintenance of walkways, beds, trees, pots, building entrances, and common grounds, including care of 4,000 annuals, approximately 3,000 perennials/grasses/shrubs, 33 yards of mulch, and over 50 trees, as well as irrigation management and several significant enhancements.
Maintained By: King of Prussia, PA Landscape Management Branch
Industry Awards Won: National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) 2018 Silver Award & Landscape Contractors Association (LCA) 2018 Grand Award
Site Description: One, Two, and Three Logan Square are a collection of high-rise Trophy-office towers located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Central Business District, just a block away from Philly’s historic ‘Museum Mile.’ Tenants and their employees have access to a variety of street-level restaurants and retail establishments, including a renowned gastropub and a popular café, and a number of on-site amenities, including a fitness center, underground parking, and outdoor seating in Three Logan Plaza. The iconic 51-story Three Logan Square, located at 1717 Arch Street, is one of Philadelphia’s true landmark skyscrapers and is one of the tallest building in the city. Its vast green space, fountain, and seating areas are unparalleled in the urban environment. Ultimately the client wanted to mirror the high-class, full-service feeling that tenants experience inside the buildings with the surrounding urban landscape.
Challenges & Solutions: One and Two Logan Square consist mainly of planters and pots with bright colorful annuals, so apart from occasional cleanup of curbline and stones, personnel spend nearly 95% of their time focused on pruning, deadheading of plant material, and monitoring plant health.
Although heavily shaded by large trees and surrounding skyscrapers, Three Logan Square Plaza is paved with granite which tends to hold heat and can cause plant material to dry out quickly in times of drought. The Birch trees are especially sensitive to this, as they drop their leaves in hot weather. Conversely, in times of heavy rain, the impervious pavers direct all water to the drains in the garden beds. The courtyard is situated directly above a subterraneous parking garage, so proper drainage is key. Crews constantly check to ensure that mulch and debris don’t build up in the drains. This issue is compounded by the wind tunnel effect between buildings and heavy pedestrian traffic which necessitate constant cleanup of unwanted trash and debris in plant beds.
Several significant enhancements have helped augment this site’s visual appeal, including a recent tree lighting installation. Roughly 1600 strands of string lights were wrapped around twelve 12-inch caliper locus trees in Three Logan Square Plaza, four 20-inch caliper pear trees at Two Logan Square, and 11 six-inch caliper pear trees along Arch and Cherry streets. During this enhancement, the contractor performed extensive pruning and thinning to reduce the crown of the trees so that they would be more uniform with a good structure and ensure that the end result would be more clearly visible.
Photos & Descriptions:
Devoid of turf, the client relies on heavy use of annual color to brighten up this cityscape. With 4-6 rotations a year, there are nearly approximately 20,000 annuals installed yearly on the site.
The building entrances and streets are attractively landscaped for maximum impact, with about 20 pots and planters surrounding buildings One and Two. In this planter box, tropicals such as Canna Lily, Cordyline, Caladium, Mandevilla, and Begonia are blended with bright cascading sweet potato vines.
In tune with the surrounding area’s charming public spaces, Three Logan Square offers its own urban oasis with a spacious ~1.1 acre public plaza, including a water feature, lush landscaping, and outdoor seating for the surrounding street-level restaurant and retail establishments. This area is heavily frequented throughout the day, especially during lunchtime.
A recent tree lighting enhancement makes the courtyard an inviting public space to be enjoyed well into the evening.
Roughly 1600 strands of lights totaling 6.66 miles in length were wrapped to a consistent height with equal spacing between strands to create a uniform appearance as one looks down the street at the line of trees.
Crews spend approximately 50% of time on site hand-pruning. This level of detail enables the contractor to keep the plant material in this urban streetscape in top shape.
To accommodate certain areas that receive little sunlight, shade-tolerant plant material such as ferns, Hostas, and Astilbe were chosen. With nearly 1,000 shrubs on site in a very warm microclimate created by this urban environment, crews constantly monitor materials for insect infestations, treating affected plant material when issues are discovered.
Crews monitor moisture levels and manually regulate the irrigation system to meet the needs of a wide variety of plant material. With impervious pavers and drains located only in the plant beds, keeping drains clear of mulch and debris is of the utmost importance to prevent oversaturation.
This area is designed to protect the landscape from pedestrian and pet damage and provide a peaceful place to stop and sit along this busy street. During a recent enhancement, declining boxwoods were removed and replaced with Mondo Grass and Hakonechloa Grass. Annuals are planted within a pot to help protect plant material by keeping it up off the ground.
Providing a consistently high standard of maintenance in this urban landscape is challenging, but with strong communication between all parties and an eye to detail, One, Two, and Three Logan Square continue to enhance the neighborhood’s physical environment, making it a beautiful place to shop, dine, work, and play.