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Mayor Fenty Announces Reopening of Renovated Eastern Market

Thursday, May 14, 2009
News Release for Immediate Release

Contact: Sean Madigan, (202) 615-2029 (cell); Feras Sleiman, (202) 251-8829 (cell)

(Washington, DC) Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced today that the District will reopen the historic Eastern Market at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 26 followed by a community celebration on Saturday, June 27. The two events will mark the completion of the market’s renovation and recovery from fire damage caused in April 2007.

“I am proud that the District has upheld its commitment to reviving Eastern Market as quickly as humanly possible, in addition to meeting our pledge to its vendors and consumers by rebuilding with minimal interruption to the market’s daily and weekend operations,” said Mayor Fenty. “Capitol Hill community members deserve a fully restored market and it has been my Administration’s priority all along that they get exactly that.”

On Sunday, June 14, vendors who operate temporarily in East Hall will start a step-by-step relocation plan to move back into the historic South Hall and be open for business for the ribbon-cutting on Friday, June 26. The outdoor farmers and exhibitors market will continue as usual over the weekend of June 20-21.

“I’m thrilled that Eastern Market is on the verge of reopening. The devastating fire was a blow to our whole community, but the way in which the city rallied around the Market as more than just a building proved how important it is to the fabric of our neighborhood. I want to thank Mayor Fenty and his staff for making the rebuilding effort a priority, and working hand-in-hand with EMCAC, ANC 6B, the Capitol Hill Community Foundation and all of our neighborhood leaders,” commented Councilmember Tommy Wells (Ward 6).

“Ensuring Eastern Market remained in business while we recovered from the fire and renovated the building has been both challenging and rewarding,” said Robin-Eve Jasper, director of the Office of Property Management. “I want to thank Eastern Market’s merchants, vendors and farmers and the business and community groups, including the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee, CHAMPS and the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, whose patience, advice and counsel have been invaluable.”

Renovations to the oldest continually operating market in the city are on schedule and will cost $22 million. The market will have modern heating and air conditioning, new restrooms and sprinklers and access ramps to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The skylights and chimneys have been restored and new windows have been installed that protect against ultraviolet (UV) light. The North Hall will include a movable stage and gallery walls, a demountable dance floor and theatrical lighting making it attractive for community and rental use.

The reopening will also mark the conclusion of a new streetscape in front of the market. The Office of Property Management (OPM) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) worked together to minimize disruptions and complete projects simultaneously. The new street includes upgrades of the roadway and roadbed and installation of new brick sidewalks, granite curbs, utilities and lighting.

The renovation process has been a collaborative effort between Quinn Evans Architects, Minkoff Company, Inc., Keystone Plus Construction, FEI Construction and The Temple Group.

Located in the historic district of Capitol Hill, Eastern Market has continually offered District residents and tourists with daily produce, meat, cheese and bakery vendors, a weekend farmers market and craft sales while also operating as an informal community center.