Market East today, a suffering retail corridor consisting mostly of poor mid-century suburban design and windowless facades. An animated street scape could excite consumers. Historically, Market Street has been shrouded in illuminated consumerism, throughout its Victorian prime and well into the neon-clad 50s and 60s.Councilmen DiCiccio and Kenny introduced the bill late last year, seeking to illuminate the deteriorating stretch of Market Street and generate revenue through advertising that could be used to improve its infrastructure.
The idea received mixed reviews, mostly positive under the assumption that the few remaining historic facades between 7th and 13th not be touched.
While the Rules Committee is moving forward with the discussion, the existing bill is either expected to be amended or rewritten.
While Market East's potential is only a microcosm of Manhattan's Time Square, New York's illuminated corridor of capitalism once suffered from similar civic neglect. One could even argue that Market East has been allowed to decline even further than Times Square ever did in its seedy past. Even the porn palaces left Market East.Whatever the outcome with this specific bill, it is exciting to see the Planning Commission eagerly engaged in conversations about a revitalized and illuminated Market East, perhaps Center City's least tapped resource.