A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET
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 

Rochester Public Market

Rochester

NY

USA

Contributed by 
james farr
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
September 4, 2002
December 14, 2017

Rochester's downtown Public Market, featuring a number of wholesale meat, produce and cut-flower businesses.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

The Rochester Public Market is situated on nine acres in the heart of the city, on the same site since 1905. Operated by the City, the market is fully leased and 100% supported by its revenues, attracting over 1.5 million shoppers annually. It's open year round and still features a number of wholesale meat, produce and cut-flower buisnesses, which keep it fairly active even on non-market days.

Access & Linkages

The site sits in the middle of a re-emerging residental neighborhood on one flank, and a former warehouse district on another. The warehouse spaces are being redeveloped privately as mixed use retail and other. The site has vehicular access from three streets as well as additional pedestrian links to the surrounding area. Although the recent renovations added over 140 parking spaces, congestion in the space has been both a problem and an asset since the days of the horse drawn wagons selling their wares. Two local bus routes also service the site. The site is on a slight rise and the new gateways are visible from the adjoining main streets. The circulation pattern within the market can best be described as organized chaos. Attempts to improve this have been largely futile.

Comfort & Image

The space is clean but has the earthy quality of a marketplace. Vehicles and pedestrians share the space, amazingly without too much conflict. There is security on site, but most people feel safe just due to the amount of activity and vitality.

Uses & Activities

The market is the most diverse place is western New York. Open to the public Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, thousands shop, eat socialize and people watch. Urbanites, suburbanites, natives, and recent imigrants all interact without issue. On a Saturday it is not unusaul to have over 30,000 people pass through, ranging from children to seniors and speakers of many different languages.

Sociability

The market is a gathering place, a spot for politicians to campaign, a family shopping tradition, a destination and part of the weekly routine. The visitors reflect the ethnicity of the community.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

The market began as strictly a wholesale distribution point and was home to a number of major wholesale produce and grocery distribution businesses. Public outcry during a period of inflation after World War I resulted in the market being open to the public for retail sales. The market has survived several attempts to close it and relocate it. The market recently received a $3.5 million face lift, and contains about 230 outside covered vending spaces as well as 68 heated indoor spaces.

Related Links & Sources

Rochester Public Market
Rochester Public Market
Rochester Public Market
Rochester Public Market
Rochester Public Market
Rochester Public Market
Rochester Public Market
Rochester Public Market

*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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A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET