COC to Take Place in Award-Winning Convention Center

Nation's Cities Weekly, July 7, 1997 | Go to article overview

COC to Take Place in Award-Winning Convention Center


Attendees at the 1997 Congress of Cities in Philadelphia will be meeting in what has been described as one of the most beautiful and useful convention centers in the country, the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The $523 million Center has made Philadelphia one of America's top convention cities.

Built in 1993, the 1,300,000-square-foot facility has won many prestigious technical and customer service awards, including the Bilt Rite Award for Excellence, the Meeting News Magazine Planners' Choice Award and for the past three years, Agent & Manager Facilities Magazine Prime Site Award.

Convention attendees will quickly notice one of the distinctive qualities about the Center -- plenty of large windows over-looking the city. Walk around on the custom-designed carpeting through the arch-roofed hallways, and you'll come across some of the most intriguing and striking examples of contemporary American art to rival any museum. In fact, it's been said that the Center looks and feels more like a first-class hotel than a typical convention facility.

A unique feature of the Pennsylvania Convention Center is the historically-certified Reading Terminal train shed which opened in 1994. The Victorian shed once housed the city's commuter train station which brought people to Center City Philadelphia from the suburbs Under the magnificent 90-foot vaulted roof sits a 47,000-square-foot Grand Hall and a 32,000-square-foot ballroom.

The Reading Terminal train shed is located above the Reading Terminal Market, a 100-year-old farmers market featuring more than 70 specialty food stalls. As part of the Convention Center project, the Reading Terminal Market was renovated and repaired, so that today, it still remains a vital part of the community. Visitors to the market can get every type of food from famous Philly cheesesteaks and freshly baked soft pretzels, to home-made foods and baked goods brought in and sold by the Amish from Lancaster County.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is connected via a bridge to the Philadelphia Marriott hotel which opened in January 1995. The hotel has several restaurants, including a steakhouse, a casual restaurant and a sports bar. …

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