Gallery I Is Staying Open Just A Few Days Longer

When it closes, though, thousands of commuters could be left out in the cold.

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The eastern half of The Gallery at Market East will be open a little longer.

Scheduled to close today, the mall will get about a one-week reprieve. No official closing date is set, but once some paperwork is finalized the eastern half of the mall — known as Gallery I — will close. The closure should still happen within days.

No stores have been open in that side of the mall for months, but commuters regularly use it to avoid the elements. The stretch goes from the larger food court at 10th and Market (which has been shuttered since early June) all the way to the PATCO and SEPTA stops near the Lit Brothers building at 8th and Market.

The closure could affect a lot of people: 26,000 people use Jefferson Station and 8,900 use the 8th and Market PATCO High Speed Line station every day. The Inquirer says PREIT, the owner, expects a two-year closure, though the closure of Gallery II —10th to 11th streets — closes next year.

Earlier this year, I waxed nostalgic about The Gallery for more than 3,000 words. (Yes, I wrote a Gallery #longreads.) The Gallery at Market East is a place a lot of people, including many older and poorer Philadelphians, relied on for years. The Gallery was a fun and weird place, with a weird, futuristic-yet-dated design. But I remain excited; the Gallery was incredibly outdated and unfriendly at street-level. Even if the renderings may not completely reflect reality, as Inga Saffron notes, they appear promising.

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And, look! There’s even a logo now for the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia at Market East (unofficial initialism: FOPME). Yeah, it’s the same as the one in Chicago; there’s no Philadelphia specific kite-and-key iconography like the old Franklin Mills.

Alas, the original part of the Gallery will soon be gone. You’ll have to walk outside for two years, commuters, but at least you’ll have a shiny new place to shop at in 2017 or so.