(Washington, DC) The American Planning Association (APA) today named Eastern Market one of the 10 best neighborhoods in America, citing the neighborhood’s historic buildings, tree-lined streets, accessibility to transit and the 134-year-old market hall’s function as a social and cultural gathering place for residents across the city.
“Eastern Market is the heart and soul of Capitol Hill,” said Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. “While the historic market hall was severely damaged by fire this spring, this community’s spirit and commitment to rebuild never wavered. Eastern Market is as vibrant a place as it has ever been and that is a testament to just how important this place is to the citizens of the District.”
Eastern Market is one of the country’s 10 Great Neighborhoods because of the residents’ civic pride and the centuries-old vision for their neighborhood, which has sustained the community's unique characteristics, APA officials said.
“The Eastern Market neighborhood stands out not only as a jewel of Washington, DC," said Paul Farmer, the APA’s executive director, "but it shines as an example of the good that happens when residents care about where they live and take time to be involved.”
America’s truly great neighborhoods are defined by many unique criteria, including significant architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement. Anchored by the 134-year old market hall, the neighborhood’s tree-lined residential streets open out into bustling commercial districts with their own eclectic mix of locally-owned businesses.
The neighborhood is also well-served by transit users, bicyclists, pedestrians and divers alike. Barracks Row, which runs from Pennsylvania Avenue south to the Navy Yard, has emerged as a prime shopping and dining destination. This nascent business district is backed by the Barracks Row Main Street program, an economic revitalization effort that seeks to restore small businesses and make the neighborhood more self-supporting.
The nine other APA Great Neighborhoods for 2007 include Hillcrest in San Diego; San Francisco’s North Beach; Old West Austin, in Austin, Texas; Brooklyn’s Park Slope; and the Pike Place Market Neighborhood in Seattle.
The complete list is available at www.planning.org/greatplaces.