Reinventing Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market Open Access
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Historically, public markets served as the economic, cultural and social foundation of many cities such as Leadenhall Market in London, United Kingdom, Jardin Juarez and Market Hall in Juchitan, Mexico, and West Side Market in Cleveland, OH. With the rise of chain grocery stores and supermarkets, most of the markets were forced to close due to a decrease in patronage. The remaining public markets changed from their traditional function to a fast-food court in order to remain financially viable. A few surviving public markets, such as Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, strive to operate as true public markets, which consist of vendors selling produce, fish, meats, baked goods, specialty food, plants, and flowers. This thesis focuses on exploring the role of public markets in the 21st century by implementing architectural solution to and preserves their historic characteristics and cultural values. Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, operating since 1893, was carefully and critically examined and a design proposal was developed to convert it into a modern day public market.Research included studying the historic and present-day function of public markets. Typologies of arcades, markets and malls were also surveyed. Programmatic and schematic designs were explored to develop the design proposal, which identified new traffic patterns, architectural and sustainable elements including more efficient ventilation systems, more adequate bathroom facilities for number of patronage and employees, and a demonstration kitchen. In the effort to raise cultural and community awareness, a new space is allocated to exhibit the rich history of the Market as well as to showcase art from local artists.The intention of this project is to create a new interior space within the Reading Terminal Market, which preserves its historic, and renews the functionality of the interior architecture and enhances the retail, social and cultural experience for the visitor.