Comment 30501

By davekurucstinks (aka. g.) (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2009 at 16:38:11

i like the new market despite some serious opening day stumbles. i wouldn't go far enough to suggest that it become a permanent location without massive reconstruction of its street sides, but it does highlight some of the design flaws inherent in the old "new market."

the refreshing things about the temporary location are its single level, relative openness, and overall more human scale. it is a vastly more consistent space that while being smaller than the old market has more usable space.

i feel that long term the market should be in a stand alone single story at grade building with a good relation to the street surrounding it. something with lots of natural light, space for outdoor stands and activities in the summer, maybe a skating rink in the winter, and integrated transit stops, perhaps a hub if you will.

from the get go the old market was a compromise, a market shoe horned by shady business deals between the city and developers, (imagine that!,) into a space that was far from ideal. of course, the market adapted and most came to find a way to call the market home but as always at a certain price.

unfortunately, the real reason the market won't be moving further than the periphery of jackson square any time soon is a quite limiting contract with yale properties negotiated when jackson square was being developed, guaranteeing that the city will keep the market attached to the mall for 99 years. what the city or the farmer's market got in return for this generous concession was to be shackled to a model of retail that would see its fortunes waning quite quickly. the asset of the 80's quickly turned into a liability in the 90's as shoppers stayed away from downtown in favour of the new suburban malls.

imagine, for a moment, a new building for the market and the old market turned into a grand entrance and reading room for the library. the soaring ceilings dressed up in warmer cladding, the ramp completely ripped out and instead a mezzanine encircling the entire space with wide stairs descending to connect the different levels.

anyway, enough pipe dreaming for today, bottom line, it will never happen, but at least the city is showing some level of commitment to the market with its long overdue renovations.

go check out the market. the stall holders could use the support in this time of great upheaval for them.

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