A new $1 million project will turn a block outside of Reading Terminal into a pedestrian-friendly, seasonal public space, according to a new announcement from officials.
The project is already underway, and focuses on the 1100 block of Filbert Street, which runs under the Hilton Garden Inn, next to Reading Terminal Market. It will transform the block into 15,000 square feet of public space, bringing more dining-friendly seats, pop-up retail kiosks, and temporary and permanent art installations to the block, Reading Terminal Market officials announced Thursday.
That section of street will still be open to traffic at times. This project ensures that the block can be transformable, becoming either a vehicular street or a pedestrian plaza, depending on the time of year and and any special events. Even when the street is being used by cars, the wider sidewalks and other features of the plan ensure that it will be more pedestrian-friendly.
The project is funded by grants from the William Penn Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Multi-Modal Transportation Fund
“This funding will allow us to animate Filbert Street by creating a dynamic and inclusive public space with opportunities for shoppers, diners, families, artists, and entrepreneurs to all enjoy equally,” Anuj Gupta, general manager of Reading Terminal Market said in a statement.
Officials got inspiration for pedestrian plaza from other public space projects around the city, like Spruce Street Harbor Park, Dilworth Park.
“The integration of pop-up retail will further strengthen the Market’s connection to the local entrepreneur community through partnerships with West Philadelphia’s Enterprise Center, farmer’s markets, and artist collectives,” the statement on the project said.
Here’s what’s included in the project:
- Removing the curb and widening the sidewalk by six feet
- Installing removable traffic controllers, making it easier to close the street or leave it open
- Movable and removable seating, pop-up retail kiosks, and street furniture
- Erecting a sculpture, a mural, and hosting ongoing temporary art installations.