Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Another point about the Florida Market area

The New York Times  New York Region  Image .jpgRuby Washington/ The New York Times. City planners envision dozens of food market stalls, as well as wine and coffee bars, inside the cavernous Battery Maritime Building.

Today's Times has an article, "Landmark Ferry Building May Become Food Market," about an adaptive reuse proposal in NYC to create a public market. From the article:

Dozens of market stalls might fill the grand public hall where commuters in the early 20th century waited, under the fierce gaze of grotesque dolphins perched atop 30-foot-tall columns, to cross the harbor to 39th Street in South Brooklyn. A wine or coffee bar might be placed at one end, a demonstration kitchen at the other. Diners could sit out on a monumental loggia overlooking South Street and Battery Park.

"What New York is really missing is a great market hall in a historic building," said Kate Ascher, the executive vice president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which is looking for a developer to undertake the project...

I'm sure that some people think that proposals to rehabilitate the Florida Market are about "upscaling" it. But that isn't true, it's really about maximizing its potential and buffing up its charm.

One thing to remember though is that the market area was the home of fine dining restaurants at one time. Apparently the original Gusti's Italian Restaurant was located there. (Gusti's was at 19th and M Street NW for many years) as well as the Cannon Steak House, which for many years afterwards, and not too long ago at that, the sign was still evident on top of one of the market buildings.

P1010115 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.jpgFlorida Market photo by Inked78.

Ghost Sign -- James CallasGhost Sign -- James Callas, Florida Market area.

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