A sustaining heritage : historic markets, public space, and community revitalization
Gentry, John Daniel
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In order to ensure a strong future for the preservation movement, historic resources must play an active role in community life. America’s historic market halls fulfill this mandate, bolstering the economies of neighborhoods and downtown commercial districts, while enriching the cultural dimension of public spaces. Market rehabilitation projects represent the growth in historic preservation theory and practice in recent years. In the United States, market structures evolved during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, from open-sided street sheds to enclosed market halls that incorporated the latest in building technology, and reflected current social norms. The turn of the twentieth century represented the apex for America’s markets, which came to symbolize Progressive Era ideas and civic pride. By the second half of the century, the country’s historic markets were neglected – their existence threatened by suburbanization and other factors. High profile preservation projects, such as the restoration of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, point to the resurgence of markets in recent years. A survey of existing markets and two case studies together demonstrate the benefits of historic markets to communities, as well as the challenges facing their preservation.
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