Before 1987, Philly's "gentleman's agreement" that skyscrapers should not exceed the height of city hall's statue didn't lead to very appealing results.
Here are some 50s pics. This view from the art museum comes off nicely...
But these other views are pretty much showcase midrise mediocrity.
I prefer the new look, mainly because I think people put more into these designs, knowing they'd be very visible, rather than just saying "ah what the hell, no one cares anyway" (which is what Penn Center looks like, pretty much).