The long-anticipated Reading Market Terminal renovation is finally under way.
Reading Terminal Market is well known as one of America’s largest and oldest public markets, having operated for over a century since establishing itself in 1893. Now, plans for the market that have been in the works since 2019 are finally getting under way after a long hiatus brought on by the complications of the recent pandemic.
The initiative, which is described by city officials as a “transformation project”, will reconstruct the 1100 block of Filbert Street in order to create one of the city’s first “curbless” streets, with sidewalks and car lanes at equal height to the rest of the block. The initiative is expected to expand the market’s footprint by thousands of square feet, and improve pedestrian and vehicle safety at the intersection. Annie Allman, Reading Terminal Market’s CEO and General Manager, said at the groundbreaking that the new changes will allow the street to be shut down for events like Reading Terminal Market Harvest or the Philly Ice Cream Scoop.
Additionally, the market plans to add high-top tables and other dining-friendly seating options, designed locally by Groundswell Design Group. The outdoor space will also be utilized by local artists, artisans and food-sellers to host special events curated by the market. Recognizing that the market is “a cornerstone of the Philadelphia community”, Allman stated that “providing a safe, engaging outdoor experience in addition to the extensive indoor options is critical.”
The new initiative is expected to seriously address traffic congestion in the area, as well as create a new destination space for tourists and locals alike. Sometimes a street, sometimes a gathering place for events, the new project will soon transform Reading Terminal Market into one of the city’s premiere locations for outdoor events and festivals. While the project is being developed, Filbert Street and its Reading Terminal Market entrance will remain closed. Current estimates predict the new street transformation to be finished by Fall 2022.