At the time it was constructed, the trainshed was one of the largest single-span arched roof structures in the world. It is now the world's oldest such structure, and the only one left in in the United States.
In 1993, the complex was purchased by the city's Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia. After renovations as part of the new Pennsylvania Convention Center, the headhouse became the center's main entrance, while the trainshed became its Grand Hall and ballroom, some meeting rooms and a hallway. The remaining space on the concourse levels of the headhouse became retail space, anchored by the Hard Rock Cafe. The former Reading Railroad offices on the headhouse's upper floors were converted to meeting and ballroom facilities. It also contains more than 200 rooms for the adjacent Marriott Hotel, to which it is connected by a skywalk and for which it serves as a secondary entrance.
Several films have had scenes shot at the Terminal, including the 1981 Brian De Palma film Blow Out, the 2004 film National Treasure, and the 1995 film Twelve Monkeys. The Reading Terminal Market is where the murder scene took place in Witness, which stared Harrison Ford.