EASTERN MARKET TO BE RESTORED, OUTDOOR MARKETS OPEN THIS WEEKEND
Washington, DC--"Eastern Market will be restored to 100% of its architectural and historic splendor," DC Mayor Adrian Fenty announced in a press conference this morning.
The announcement followed a fire which devastated the historic 1873 South Hall of the market yesterday and left the entire building, including the less damaged Center and North Halls, at least temporarily deserted. South Hall housed the last remaining continuously operating traditional food market in the city.
Fenty estimated that the restoration would be completed within "18 to 24 months" and cost "between $20 million and $30 million." The project would be placed at "the top of our priority list" for "certified revenue," the availability of which he expected to announce next week.
He also announced immediate suspension of rent and sales tax payments for "inside vendors." Fourteen family-owned businesses, many operating at the market for generations, were displaced from the South Hall. Fenty also pledged to "find a temporary home and help make payroll" for them.
Ward 6 DC Councilman Tommy Wells confirmed in the press conference that outdoor activities would continue as scheduled. This includes the Sunday flea market, which we announced yesterday, the Saturday outdoor markets, and the annual Market Day event this Sunday.
EASTERN MARKET KEEP IT GOING
Donations Being accepted
Fenty also announced that the Capitol Hill Community Foundation would serve as a clearinghouse for donations to help the inside merchants. You can make a donation on line using the link on the Capitol Hill Community Foundation website. Enter "Eastern Market Keep it Going" in the designation line. All donations to the foundation are tax exempt and dispersed 100%.
Tom Rall, owner of EasternMarket.net, also announced that donations to help outdoor exhibitors, many of whom are also expected to suffer from business disruptions, can also now be made through our web site or directly into an established Pay Pal account for donations: Eastern Market Exhibitor Relief Fund
Rall and Michael Berman, Director of Communications for The Flea Market at Eastern Market, plan to cooperate with The Capitol Hill Foundation regarding funds raised through EasternMarket.net.