FRIDAY ARCHITECT COMPLETES RENOVATION OF HISTORIC PHILADELPHIA LANDMARK
Newly Enhanced Reading Terminal Market to Elevate Philadelphia Even Higher on Tourism Map
Philadelphia, PA (August 20, 2012) – Friday Architects/Planners, Inc. has completed a $3.0 million renovation of the historic Reading Terminal Market (RTM), which restores the alignment of the Avenue D aisle, creating more floor vendor space, adding new public restrooms and consolidating the management offices.
Roughly 2,500 sq. ft. of additional leasable floor space was created by straightening out the Avenue D aisle which had meandered around the east end of the market. The relocation of cold storage to the basement added to the new floor space. As a result, at least five new merchants will be joining the RTM this summer and into the fall. Currently, Friday Architects is preparing designs for three of
them -- Valley Shepard Creamery, The Tubby Olive and Downtown Cheese.
Highlights of the renovation include the new Rick Nichols Room, a multipurpose rental space available for daytime and evening events such as meetings, parties and other social gatherings. The room is being dedicated to the legendary Philadelphia Inquirer food writer whose advocacy in the press is attributed to saving the market. The room boasts a sleek folding glass door that can be closed for private events or open to extend the center court seating. A mural along the east wall depicts a timeline of Reading Terminal Market milestones and historic achievements. Another interesting facet of the renovation includes the relocation of the demonstration kitchen, La Cucina at The Market, to a prominent location adjacent to the Rick Nichols Room.
Friday developed a complex phasing plan for the renovations that was employed by the contractor, which allowed the market to remain operational during the entirety of the renovation. Working with RTM management, they also worked with dozens of merchants to balance functional and aesthetic needs at a very fast pace. New, expanded restrooms were quickly completed before the original toilet room facilities were demolished; Friday Architects moved beloved merchants Dinic’s Roast Pork, Spataros and Flying Monkey to new locations and worked with each business to create a space that is both more functional and attractive than their previous footprints. A new office mezzanine was constructed within a week above an existing merchant. Because of the markets’ historical maturity, the floor surfaces were challenging and slopes varied tremendously. The firm paid specific attention to details to preserve the integrity of the original space while and incorporating new elements carefully into the project.
The customer experience at RTM is expected to be greatly strengthened by the upfront renovations, however it is largely the behind-the-scenes infrastructure work such as moving the cold boxes to the basement and shifting operations and tool rooms that made the larger project and scope of work possible.
“Working on this project enabled us to do many of the things we like to do best. Yes, it’s fun to build from the ground up, but it’s also very exhilarating and challenging to take a historically existing space and augment it for the growing architectural needs as a result of its popularity,” explains Tony Bracali, President, Friday Architects.
“After many long months of construction work and planning for various new vendors at the Market, we’re delighted to finally be able to celebrate with the public the culmination of these renovations from the past year,” said Paul Steinke, general manager of Reading Terminal Market.
About Friday Architects/Planners, Inc.
Friday Architects/Planners Inc. was founded on the guiding principal that architecture should benefit people and the community. The name Friday is the generic moniker that refers to everyman and is the umbrella under which the firm’s design philosophy is grounded. We believe that collaboration between architect and client produces impactful design. Today the firm is lead by Anthony Bracali, President and Frank Mallas, long-time Principal. The firm’s portfolio of work includes educational, non-profit, arts, recreation, sports and institutional markets. Current projects include Drexel Armory Re-Use Study; Drexel Field Masterplan; Phillies Urban Youth Academy, Tullio Arena Renovations, Erie, PA; and the Center for Culinary Enterprises, Philadelphia, PA.
About Reading Terminal Market
One of America’s largest and oldest public markets, housed since 1892 in a National Historic Landmark building, Reading Terminal Market offers an incredible selection of farm fresh produce, meats, poultry, the finest seafood, cheeses, baked goods, confections, flowers, kitchenware, cookbooks, jewelry and crafts. The Market also offers a wide variety of dining choices including local specialties and international cuisines.