The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Central Market Hall

Budapest

Hungary

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
January 7, 2002
December 14, 2017

This gorgeous covered market dates to the turn of the 20th century and is still a focal point for city life.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

The spectacular building has been lovingly renovated and sits in all its glory just steps from the Danube on the Pest side, at the foot of the Liberty Bridge (itself a lovely structure). Not only is it beautiful, it is completely wheelchair accessible - and best of all, it is still alive. The market hall is open Monday 6 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday to Friday 6 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. and is closed on Sundays. An excellent booklet about it in several language is for sale at some of the souvenir stalls upstairs. Plenty of local people shop for their daily fare here undaunted by the hundreds of tourists roaming up and down the aisles. The second floor contains the handicrafts and souvenirs so dear to visitors hearts: embroidery, leather work, hand-carved chess sets, matruska dolls from Russia.

Access & Linkages

The elevator for wheelchairs is located at the back of the hall (look for the sign).

Comfort & Image

Upstairs at the front end, a ramp leads to a restaurant where two people can have a hearty meal for under $10. The tables can be a bit tricky for wheelchair users (someone has to shift the benches), but the soup bowls are huge, the goulash soup is wonderfully spicy, and the server kept piling stuffed cabbage on my plate until I pleaded "stop!"

Uses & Activities

The lower level is devoted to food - there are aisles of fresh vegetables, stands of fowl and meat, a couple of shops with wine and liquor. The only problem a guest faces is trying to choose from the salami, strings of red peppers and packets of saffron. Far in the back, a few small farmers come in from the country with honey, peppers and fresh berries in season.

Sociability

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Designed by the Hungarian architect Samu Pecz (1854-1922), it opened in 1896 during the era when so many markets were organized and brought under roofs in Europe. The spacious, expansive structure is supported by slender steel columns which allow for maximum light. Outside, the facade is pyrogranite decor by Zsolnay - a Hungarian tile factory with an international reputation. A tunnel was built from its cellars to the river embankment to ease transport of goods by water.

Related Links & Sources

Central Market Hall
Central Market Hall
Central Market Hall
Central Market Hall
The hall dates to 1896, when covered markets were thriving in Hungary
Central Market Hall
Central Market Hall
Central Market Hall
Central Market Hall

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

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The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design