December 19, 2018

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This iconic Philadelphia site is one of America’s largest and oldest public markets. Overtime, the market survived the Depression years of the 1930s, market decline, and more. Since 1893, it’s been housed in a National Historic Landmark building.

Today’s Reading Terminal Market had its roots in the Butchers’ and Farmers’ and Franklin Markets, both located on the 1100 block of Market Street. In 1890 the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company purchased this block for its new terminal. The merchants’ refusal to relocate for the new building resulted in an agreement to erect a new market tucked beneath the train shed and tracks. When the Reading Terminal Market opened for business on February 22, 1893, it wasn’t too long before it begin to thrive. By 1913 the Market was booming, with 250 food dealers and 100 farmers occupying its stalls. It also became known for its free delivery service.

In 1985, the train shed above the Market fell silent when the city’s commuter-rail system was rerouted to bypass the terminal. After several years of negotiations and false starts, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority was created to acquire and convert the Reading Terminal into a spectacular entranceway to the new convention center under construction. After receiving feedback from residents, construction to revitalize the Market began in the early 1990’s.

PIDC provided funds, such as the Capital Project Loan, to help Reading Terminal Market upgrade and replace HVAC equipment, install new freight elevators, and provide more retail space and improved amenities. Now, the Reading Terminal Market, is both a popular hometown attraction and one of the most popular Philadelphia tourist destinations with 100k Philadelphians and tourists passing through the market every week enjoying its exceptional products, history, and people as it has something for everyone.

Reading Terminal Market is also now home to more than 80 merchants. Not only does the market have the widest variety of restaurants under one roof, but it offers an incredible selection of locally grown & exotic produce, locally sourced meats and poultry, plus the finest seafood, cheeses, baked goods, and confections. In addition, you’ll find great items like cookbooks, table linens, kitchenware, fresh cut flowers, and more.

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Read more about PIDC’s Capital Project Loan.


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