Just months before I moved to Washington, a five-alarm fire nearly destroyed a local landmark here: Eastern Market, which opened in 1873.
The beautiful building housed more than a dozen businesses: butchers, fishmongers, cheese sellers, and florists. Months after the conflagration, the District of Columbia erected a temporary facility across the street. Many of the vendors moved in.
Now, two years later, reconstruction and restoration of the original Eastern Market is nearly finished. At the end of the month, this centerpiece of the Capitol Hill community will be reopened.
Eastern Market, which was designed by architect Adolph Cluss in 1873, was badly damaged by a fire in 2007.
After the fire, many of Eastern Market's vendors relocated to a temporary facility, across the street from the original structure.
The market, on 7th Street, SE, is an institution in Washington's Capitol Hill neighborhood, popular with locals.
Although Eastern Market is owned by the District of Columbia, vendors and residents have been instrumental in advocating for its restoration.
At Southern Maryland Seafood, the day's catch is on display.
The Market Lunch, known widely for its crabcake sandwiches, is open five days per week.
At Eastern Market, a variety of foodstuffs are available. Capitol Hill Produce, which is owned by Juyoung Jung, sells everything from artichokes to zucchinis.
Bouquets of bright tulips are available at Blue Iris Flowers.
Over the last few months, construction at the site has accelerated. The original market is scheduled to open again later this month.
A community celebration will take place on June 27, 2009.