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Philadelphia Market East - City of Philadelphia: City Plans/  · PDF fileStrategic Plan Philadelphia Market East July 2009 Philadelphia City Planning Commission PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF

Aug 02, 2018

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  • Strategic Plan

    Philadelphia Market East

    July 2009

    Philadelphia City Planning Commission

    PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF

  • Market East Planning Area

    PhiladelPhia Market Street eaSt Strategic Plan

  • Philadelphia city Planning commission

    The Market East District is one of the most vital and important areas in Center City Philadelphia. Its assets include not only neighborhoods like Chinatown and Washington Square West, but an outstanding transit infrastructure, excellent highway access, a rich history, retail destina-tion and attractions like the Independence Mall and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. But Market East has yet to perform up to its poten-tial and leverage the tremendous public invest-ments that sit within its boundaries.

    This plan for Market East creates a vision that is integral with strategy. One that is not dominated by one use or project, but is characterized by the diversity of forms and activities that have marked Market Streets colorful and proud three-hun-dred year history. It seeks to position the Market East District to play a part in a more sustainable future for the City by improving street-level air quality, promoting transit ridership and lever-aging the citys existing investment in one of the richest transit hubs to be found in an American City.

    The vision and strategy for Market East are both centered on Market Street. It is the key to unlocking the value of the rest of Market East. Like San Franciscos Market Street or Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Market Street has always been the Main Street of Philadelphia. As in those cities, the dynamic between the district and its most important street is symbiotic:

    Market East cannot fully thrive without a healthy Market Street. But for this to happen, all of Market Easts constituents need to be present on, and fully engage Market Street.

    The vision is based on key strategies for restoring Market Streets role as Philadelphias Main Street:

    focusingonplacesinsteadofprojectsbyimproving Market Streets pedestrian environment;

    bringingeveryoneontoMarketStreet; achievingmaximumdensity; promotingamixofuses; creatinganewexpandedintermodal

    transit center

    It also proposes strategies to allow the rest of the district to take maximum advantage of existing and future public investments:

    establishingTenthStreetasanewneighborhood Main Street, central to Chinatown and Thomas Jefferson University (Jefferson);

    creatingopportunitiesforChinatownandJefferson to expand

    establishinganewhoteldistrictaswellasa new loft district; and

    expandingtheboundariesofMarketEastby making new connections across the Vine Expressway and to the Delaware River Waterfront.

    IntroductIon

    Market Street Mall Elevation

    Everyone is off Market Street

    1PhiladelPhia Market Street eaSt Strategic Plan

  • As San Francisco and Chicago have shown, there are certain qualities and basic elements that are necessary for big city main streets to succeed: a comfortable and managed public realm, a mix of uses, higher densities and last, but not least, an inclusive environment welcoming to all segments of the city. For Market Street to be restored to its role as Philadelphias Main Street, these qualities all clearly need to be present. But Market Street needs to be more. Our vision seeks to capture the boldness and diversity Philadelphias main street demands.

    Market Streets sidewalk environment is not in itself unattractive. Indeed, its streetscape elements are every bit as appealing as those of its counterparts in other cities. Perhaps the biggest challenge to creating a comfortable environ-ment on Market Street, however, is taming the tremendous number of buses that line its curbs in the morning and evening rush hours. These buses not only produce toxic fumes, they also block sight lines between one side of the street and the other, and slow traffic to a crawl.

    The Plan proposes alleviating much of this bustrafficbyreroutingthetwelveNJTransitcommuter bus lines that presently run on Market

    Street over to Filbert Street. This move, which would involve converting several blocks of Arch Street and Filbert Street to two-way traffic would eliminate over two-thirds of the westbound bus traffic during Market Easts peak hours, while preservingthebasicfunctionofNJTransitsCenter City loop. Throughout its history, transport and commerce have jockeyed for dominance on Market Street. Getting the right balance between the two is central to restoring Market Street as Philadelphias Main Street.

    rEstorIng MarkEt strEEts rolE as PhIladElPhIas MaIn strEEt

    Michigan Avenue, Chicago

    Market Street , San Francisco

    A wall of buses

    New route for NJ Transit Commuter Bus Lines - off Market Street

    R E - R O U T I N G B U S T R A F F I C

    2 PhiladelPhia Market Street eaSt Strategic Plan

  • Philadelphia city Planning commission

    Market Street, Philadelphia

    Market Street from 6th Street, Philadelphia, ca. early 1900s M a r k e t S t r e e t e a S t

    Market Street at night, Philadelphia

    3PhiladelPhia Market Street eaSt Strategic Plan

  • Market Street has been centered on commerce since the colonial era when merchants and farmers set up shops and stalls at the foot of what was then called High Street. This continued through the 19th century when Shambles market stalls occupied the middle of the street, and into the first half of the twentieth century as grand department stores like Wanamakers, Lit Brothers and Strawbridges made Market East the destination for the citys middle class.

    Market Street today does, to be sure, have its share of retail activity. But it does not benefit from the unique destinations that Center Citys main street demands. The irony is that while the district can boast of retail destinations like theReadingTerminalMarket,theGallery,andChinatown, none of them have a meaningful presence on Market Street.

    ReadingTerminalMarketisoneofthemostvibrant public markets in the U.S. and attracts millions of visitors a year. Its mix of visitors and locals gives it a rare authenticity. With Convention Center traffic expected to double aftertheexpansion,ReadingTerminalMarketispoised for growth.

    P U T T I N G T H E M A R K E T B A C K O N M A R K E T S T R E E T

    The Plan proposes restoring the Markets pres-ence on Market Street by expanding it into the ReadingTerminalHeadhouse.TheHeadhouseis underutilized and its grand character and tall ceiling heights suggest an ideal setting for a unique public use like a market. Existing leases also provide a window of opportunity to re-envi-sion how the Headhouse is programmed.

    Plan showing the Reading Terminal Headhouse and Market

    BrIngIng EvEryonE to MarkEt strEEt

    Reading Terminal Market

    AA BB CC

    Link to Concourse

    AA BB CC

    Reading Terminal Headhouse

    AA BB CC

    AA BB CCReading Terminal Market

    Reading TerminaL Headhouse

    Link to Concourse

    AA BB CCAA BB CC

    4 PhiladelPhia Market Street eaSt Strategic Plan

  • Philadelphia city Planning commission

    AA BB CCAA BB CC

    Reading MarketThe underground Concourse, presently a vast and oversized space, presents an-other prime opportunity for food-oriented programming, even perhaps showcasing flavors of Philadelphias proud and diverse food culture

    A New Culinary InstituteA major new downtown food destination and culinary institute to give the Headhouse a pres-ence commensurate with its importance to the district and the region.

    Ferry Terminal, San FranciscoThe Reading Terminal Headhouse is un-derutilized and its grand character and tall ceiling heights suggest an ideal setting for a unique public use like a market

    AA BB CC

    Market Street

    link concourse

    culinary center & Studios

    AA BB CC

    AA BB CC

    AA BB CCnew Market hallnew Market hall

    AnexpandedspacefortheReadingTerminalMarket will not only allow the market to tie into social and food industry trends, like the locally-grown and organic food movements, but will also provide opportunities to meet the anticipated demand for more unique high-end dining after the Convention Center Expansion opens. The underground Concourse, presently a vast and oversized space, presents another prime opportunity for food-oriented programming, even perhaps showcasing flavors of Philadelphias proud and diverse food culture.

    Last, but not least, while the Convention Centers address on Market Street is maintained, the revitalized Headhouse will provide a clear front door entrance to the existing Market East transit hub. The strategy is not only to provide improved signage to direct passengers to the TransitHubandrestorethehistoricHeadhousesbold outsized canopy, but to make the entrance totheTransitHubpartofalargervision,inte-grated into a major new downtown food destina-tion and culinary institute to give it a presence commensurate with its importance to the district and the region.

    5PhiladelPhia Market Street eaSt Strategic Plan

  • The Gallery is one of Market Easts unique destinations, with a thriving food concourse, multi-level spaces flooded with sunlight, and major national retailers. But its upper levels have struggled and the Gallerys inward focus and block-long monolithic faade have been cited as impediments to more significant investment in this stretch of Market Street. The possibilities for the Gallery are many, but the basic principles are simple: active street level storefronts, pedestrian sense of scale, and a diverse and vertically divided faade.

    Creating a midblock entrance on Market Street and bringing its sky lit galleria onto the street will give the Gallery 2 a prime Market Street address much like its

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