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In 1950, the city of Philadelphia once held a population of more than two million people. In the mid 2010’s the city recorded about 1.6 million. After 1950 a large number of people started moving out of the city into the suburbs leaving Philadelphia with a large stock of buildings left abandoned. Adaptive reuse is a huge movement in the city that many developers like to capitalize on, mostly by taking old empty industrial buildings and turning them into multi-family residential blocks. Many neighborhoods are dotted with dilapidated row homes that present opportunities for renovation. But not many of these buildings are repurposed for other uses. This building sits in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Germantown. Germantown is a developing majority African-American neighborhood to the northwest. Germantown, however, oftentimes feels neglected by the city, especially since most major grocery stores are in its neighboring neighborhoods over a mile away.
It is a problem in Germantown especially when people rely on public transit to get around the city or the elderly that live in the neighborhood. This building strives to be a solution to that problem and create a bustling food market right in the neighborhood center. This site used to be a food mart itself, but the food mart closed and a furniture store took its place. Taking on a more industrial/art deco design style it works to become a piece of Philadelphia’s history. Most of the building is a large open space supported with brick columns and steel trusses. The lower floor holds the merchandise shelves and many specialized stalls for several different types of food and drinks. The second floor is much more open presenting opportunities for seating and a bar to relax and chat with other locals. This building stands in between the intersection of Germantown Avenue and Chelten Ave and the historic Maplewood Mall that will receive a $3.3 Million dollar investment from the city. This Germantown Market Hall will hopefully become a new centerpiece and community staple for the neighborhood of Germantown.
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