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EMCAC Talks Plans for 150th Anniversary of Eastern Market

The Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) met virtually on Oct. 25 and tackled as a first order of business the three day celebration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the building of the Eastern Market.

Adolf Cluss, the District’s most famous architect of the nineteenth century architect, designed and constructed the Eastern Market. It’s one of ninety buildings the prominent architect built in his time, including the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building and the Franklin School.

Built in 1873, the Eastern Market is the longest continuing operating public food market in the United States.

EMCAC’s Brian Pate chairs the AD Hoc Committee on the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary. He issued a brief report on the celebratory events that are planned over the weekend of Nov. 10 to 12 at the Market.

An Adolf Cluss look alike will make an appearance at the celebration.

On Friday, the celebration kicks off with a “November Fest”, featuring a specially brewed beer from Atlas Brewery as well as speakers and live music .

Pate said that on Saturday  and Sunday there will be historical tours at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. conducted by docents trained by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS). In the North Hall there will be demonstrations of flower arrangements from long time Market tenant Blue Iris, a silhouette artist all day, turkey carving classes from Market Poultry, borscht-making classes and a scavenger hunt.

The funding for this “kickoff” weekend was obtained by Eastern Market Main Streets (EMMS). The community business organization secured a grant of $200,000, some of which will support these various activities. Slate Creative will market this year-long event.

At the end of the weekend EMCAC, will look at the other activities as they evaluate for how to continue the celebration for the rest of the year.

Market Managers Report

Market Manager Barry Margeson reported that as the last of the receipts for FY 23 trickle in, the market has closed the yawning gap that has existed in these COVID years. The FY23  budget was $798,000 with actual income being $777,000.

The most promising news as reported by the Hill Rag earlier is that the North Hall has already booked more than $200,000 in events. Rents from the hall have the potential for the most growth and thus to assure the financial success of Eastern Market.

According to Margeson “this has never happened before,” and gives every indication of great promise in FY24. The previous highest revenue grossing year was $300,000 in 2018 with most years reporting $200,000 or less.

Peter Waldron is a long time resident and former Chair of ANC6B. Waldron has been reporting on the Eastern Market for fifteen years and can be reached at peter218@prodigy.net.

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