Field Trip Friday: Eastern Market in Washington, DC

This week’s Field Trip Friday is brought to you by Kathleen, an intern at OHNY, who recently explored the Eastern Market in Washington, DC. The market re-opened on June 26, 2009 after an electrical fire destroyed much of the inside in 2007. First established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1805, as a part of L’Enfant’s city plan, the Market was designed by German-born architect, Adolf Cluss, and constructed in 1873. Additions were made by Snowden Ashford in 1907 and the market was declared a D.C. Historic Landmark in 1964. After the fire, Robert Silman Associates, Quinn Evans Architects and the Department of Real Estate services oversaw the $22 million renovation.  The renovated market received an Engineering Excellence Award in 2009 for its ‘modern energy efficiency technologies’.

Main Entrance to Eastern Market with photograph of the architect

 

The Farmer's Line

Today the market remains one of the oldest public fresh food markets and the bustling site of weekend activities—drawing families, neighbors and tourists to the vendor-lined streets. Vendors line the entrance to the building and set up shop. Fresh watermelon, delicious chocolate eclairs and handmade soaps are some of the items for sale. Saturday and Sunday are all about the farmers—the market expands to include the Farmer’s Line, a part of the weekend outdoor food market.  Links to indoor and outdoor merchant profiles are listed on the Eastern Market website.

Hand-crafted bird from the outdoor market

Also on weekends, musicians set up stands around the many cafes and restaurants, whilst prospective buyers discuss products and prices for anything from floral arrangements to handicrafts, antiques, fresh produce and meat, clothing and furniture.

Butcher's stand inside the market

 

Sunday afternoon at Eastern Market

Eastern Market is separated into two main halls. The South Hall is reserved for the daily market, but locals and residents are able to utilize the North Hall for public and private gatherings. Weddings, meetings and dances are a few events on the North Hall’s agenda.


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