Eastern Market Building to Re-Open June 26

Eastern Market Building to Re-Open June 26

UPDATE: Free music at Eastern Market June 27-28.

Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market building will re-open Friday, June 26th, refurbished and re-interpreted, after it was gutted by fire on April 30, 2007. While the 1873 building is of questionable historical or aesthetic merit, it will certainly go down in history for its rehab pricetag: $22 million in public funds.

Great pains were taken to use historically accurate paint colors and streetlamp forms in the adaptive restoration, but astonishing anachronisms (lead-free paint, electric lights, air conditioning) abound. There is no word when historically-correct horse manure and flies will be installed in surrounding streets and alleys.

The old Hine JHS lot across the street is up for grabs, and developers are vying to further enhance historical interpretation of the Eastern Market vicinity with exit ramps for underground parking lots, spa hotels, pricy restaurants, and luxury retail. Each of the competing proposals is adorned with the standard empty promises of free public programs and other benefits that will evaporate after contracts are signed and the public coffers raided for private gain. This is exactly what happened with the old Safeway site on the same block.

On the bright side, this weekend’s re-opening ceremonies include free musical performances by some excellent musicians, presented by the nice folks who have keep the area alive with free weekend music at Eastern Market for the last three years without government support until now:

This Weekend’s Eastern Market Music

Saturday, June 27

10 AM Yamomanem — New Orleans Jazz

Noon Memphis Gold and Jay Summerour — Blues

2 PM Honky Tonk Confidential — Rockabilly

4 PM Runakuna — Andean music

Sunday, June 28

10 AM Rick Franklin and Friends — Acoustic Blues

1 PM Dead Men’s Hollow — Americana-Bluegrass


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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