Rohm and Haas Corporate Headquarters
The Rohm and Haas Corporate Headquarters in Philadelphia (1964). The company was founded in Germany by Dr. Otto Rohm and Otto Haas in 1907. Two years later, Haas opened an office in Philadelphia while Rohm stayed in Germany to form what would become ROHM GmbH. Rohm & Haas first major invention was a method for tanning leather. Demand for leather goods skyrocketed during World War I. By World War II, Rohm & Haas was producing Plexiglas, which was needed for aircraft canopies. In need of a new office building in the decades after the war, Rohm & Haas collaborated with the city of Philadelphia (specifically urban planner Edmund Bacon) to design an office along Independence Park. They were the first private investors to build on Independence Hall. Rohm & Haas met with local architect George M. Ewing, but after his design was rejected by the City Art Commission, the company commissioned leading architect Pietro Belluschi to design the structure. At the time, Belluschi was the dean of architecture at MIT. The building features many uses of Rohm & Haas main product, Plexiglas. The building is praised for the restrained yet refined way that it overlooks Independence Hall.