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Historic Market Halls Breathe Life into Local Economies

Craig Raphael
Jul 24, 2010
Dec 14, 2017

In honor of our new partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, PPS is revisiting a body of project work impacting historic places. Last week we looked at several historic train stations in New Jersey; today we'll examine America's market halls.

America once had hundreds of thriving market halls. Sadly, most were demolished or converted to other uses following the rise of the supermarket after World War Two. A handful of these places--too beloved to kill--survived and approximately 100-150 are still operating today. PPS has worked with many of them to help them renovate and restore their beautiful sheds and develop effective business models so that they continue to thrive in the future.

The Central Market in Cleveland, Ohio was once a bustling center of commerce. Photo credit: Collection of David K O'Neil
Luckily, one historic market in Cleveland today is flourishing: the West Side Market. Photo credit: juliogonzalez1, Flickr
PPS conducted a placemaking workshop centered on creating a food district around the market in Cleveland.
One of Seattle's finest destinations, Pike Place market was almost destroyed in the 1960's in the name of "urban revitalization."
Much of the activity of the market centers on the street just outside, which PPS helped to improve through a placemaking workshop.
PPS created management and renovation recommendations for quaint Meadville market in northwest PA.
PPS developed a strategic plan for beloved Eastern Market in Detroit and helped it transition to non-profit management. Since then, the new Eastern Market Corporation (photo credit) has undertaken a multi-million dollar renovation of its historic market sheds.
Not all historic market buildings retain their original use, like Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston. This tourist-oriented market does not feature many locally based stalls.
Craig Raphael
Craig Raphael
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