From 1938 to 1939 federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) laborers constructed a freight shed at the north end of the Bronx Terminal Market. Much of the funding for the project came from a $250,000 allocation from the New Deal Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). A city appropriation of $130,000 paid for the rest.
Researcher Frank da Cruz has collected evidence about the freight shed’s construction which make clear that, at the time, the project received widespread praise in the local press for reducing the price of food in the surrounding area, by allowing for more direct distribution of wholesale produce. Mayor LaGuardia initiated the formation of a distribution corporation made up of commission agents to manage the shed and to facilitate the direct reception of freight shipments. The shed, thus, eliminated the need to pack and truck produce from Washington Market, which had been the previous method of distribution to the market. It also cut down on commission costs.
Between 2006 and 2009 all the original buildings where the market once stood, except the market’s flagship structure known as the ‘Prow Building”, were demolished along with the nearby Bronx House of Detention (another New Deal project) in order to make way for the the Gateway Bronx Terminal Market shopping mall.
Frank da Cruz' "The New Deal in New York City 1932-1943: The Bronx Terminal Market", last accessed May 2016
The New York Times: "BRONX FOOD CENTER TO BE REVITALIZED," March 17, 1939 (pg. 23)
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on May 20, 2016.
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