Market Timeline

2023
2023

130th Anniversary

Reading Terminal Market celebrated its 130th year of operation
2022
2022

COVID-19

Reading Terminal Market operated as an essential business during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic ensuring Philadelphians had continued access to fresh, affordable food.
2022

Filbert St. Transformation Project

The streetscape outside the Market was enhanced to create a curbless “festival street” aimed at increasing public use of the 1100 block of Filbert St.
2018
2018

125TH ANNIVERSARY

The Market Celebrates its 125th Anniversary on February 22nd.
2012
2012

120 YEARS

The Reading Terminal Market celebrated 120 years of bringing fresh and local food to Philadelphia.
2000
2000

GROWTH

The Reading Terminal Market was 100% occupied, a result of growth in downtown residential population and tourism.
1994
1994

NON-PROFIT CORPORATION

Non-profit Reading Terminal Market Corporation created to manage the market.
1993
1993

NEW CUSTOMERS

The adjacent Pennsylvania Convention Center opened and brought new customers to the market.
1992
1992

THE FOOD TRUST

The Food Trust was founded as a program of the Reading Terminal Market
1990
1990

RTM ACQUIRED

Pennsylvania Convention Center bought the Reading Terminal Market.
1988
1988

MARKET PRESERVATION

Supporters of the market organized The Reading Terminal Market Preservation Fund to ensure that the market retained its character as the convention center project developed.
1985
1985

NEW MARKET EAST STATION

The new Market East Station with rail and subway services connecting all major transportation lines opened underneath the market.
1984
1984

LAST TRAIN

The last train left the Reading Terminal.
1983
1983

INCREASED OCCUPANCY

The market was 60% occupied and had become a center for charitable and seasonable food events and impromptu piano concerts.
1980
1980

EMERGING FROM BANKRUPTCY

The Reading Company emerged from bankruptcy, bought out the lease, and began to invest in the market.
1979
1979

OCCUPANCY

Reading Terminal Market was only 20% occupied.
1976
1976

LEASING THE MARKET

The Reading Company leased the Market to a real estate speculator 15 years. He raised rents driving out 30 of the 56 remaining merchants.
1975
1975

PRESERVATION OF THE MARKET

1970-1980: Preservationists who wanted to save the market battled with those who wanted to demolish it to advance the East Market Redevelopment plan
1971
1971

BANKRUPTCY

Reading Company declared bankruptcy and no longer invested in the upkeep of the market.
1968
1968

INFORMAL MARKETS

Informal markets formed around Front and High (Market) Streets near where farmers and fisherman brought their goods from southern New Jersey.
1955
1955

IMPROVING SAFETY

1950 – 1960 New local and federal regulations intended to improve safety of the food supply increased merchants’ cost of doing business.
1941
1941

RATIONING DURING THE WAR

Rationing during World War II brought episodic meat and dairy shortages to the nation
1935
1935

CALL-IN ORDERS

The market had 400 phone lines to take call-in orders.
1934
1934

CELEBRATION OF THE RTM MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION

Reading Terminal Market Merchants’ Association celebrated its fourth year in with the Third Food Show and Home -Progress Exposition with 140 exhibitors and 60,000 attendees.…
1933
1933

UPGRADES TO THE MARKET

The Reading Company invested in new doorways and six refrigerated show windows along Twelfth Street.
1930
1930

MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION

Merchants organized the Reading Terminal Market Merchants’ Association to stem the loss of business from the City’s new parking regulations and the downturn in the…
1913
1913

THE SOURCE

Reading Terminal Market advertised itself as the “Source of Main Food Supply of Philadelphia and Adjacent Territory” with 250 specialized dealers and 100 farmers occupying…
1893
1893

TRAIN SERVICE BEGAN

Train service began at the new Reading Terminal.
1892
1892

RTM OPENS FOR BUSINESS

The Reading Terminal Market opened for business. Merchants at the Butchers and Farmers’ Market and the Franklin Market moved into the new Reading Terminal Market.
1891
1891

CONSTRUCTION

Construction began on the Reading Terminal after the Company agreed to build a market underneath the new railroad station.
1890
1890

CONSOLIDATION

The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company consolidated its four Philadelphia terminals to build one large terminal in downtown Philadelphia. The Company purchased the 1110 block…
1860
1860

BUTCHERS AND FARMERS MARKETS

The indoor Butchers’ and Farmers’ Market located in the 1100 block of Market Street opened for business. The indoor Franklin Market was established on 10th…
1859
1859

REMOVAL OF OUTDOOR MARKET STRUCTURES

Select and Common Councils of the City of Philadelphia directed the Commissioner of Markets to remove the outdoor market structures located on east Market Street…
1858
1858

NINE MARKET HOUSES

Market Street had nine market houses that stretched from Water to Eighth Street and two markets west of Broad Street between Fifteenth and Seventeenth Streets
1858

MARKET STREET

City ordinance changed the name of High Street to Market Street.
1837
1837

DEMOLISHING THE 1709 MARKET

City Commissioners voted to demolish the 1709 market house to make way for new market houses made of cast iron.
1836
1836

COLUMBIA-PHILADELPHIA RAILROAD

The Columbia-Philadelphia Railroad began laying streetcar tracks on High Street. Streetcars were not permitted to run on market days.
1822
1822

REBUILDING

City ordinance approved the rebuilding of the 1720s Jersey Market House on Market Street between Front and Second Streets.
1815
1815

ORDINANCE PASSED

Ordinance passed for building a fish market on High Street east of Water Street
1790
1790

MARKET SHEDS

Market sheds or shambles lined High Street from Second to Sixth Street
1769
1769

MARKET OPENED

North Second Street Market at Second and Coates (later Fairmount) opened
1745
1745

NEW MARKET

New Market at Second and Pine Streets opened. The market house was added in 1804.
1741
1741

MARKET DAYS

On market days, Wednesday and Saturdays, iron chains were put up at sunrise to protect shoppers from the carts and carriages
1709
1709

TOWNE HALL

First permanent head house was built in the middle of Second and High Streets. Known as “Towne Hall” the building served as Pennsylvania’s capitol until…
1693
1693

FORMAL MARKET

Local government agreed to have a formal market with a market head house located where Second Street crossed High Street.
1680
1680

GATHERING

Informal markets formed around Front and High (Market) Streets near where farmers and fisherman brought their goods from southern New Jersey.