Capitol Hill’s historic Eastern Market has been a commercial and social hub for the community since it opened in 1873 to replace the neighborhood’s original public market near Sixth and K Streets SE. With merchant stalls for meat, produce and other fare inside and with many other vendors gathered out front on the weekends, it’s the only facility of its kind still operating in the city.
In April of 2007 the Market was devastated by fire, and under the leadership of the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, neighborhood residents responded with an outpouring of support for the displaced merchants while the city undertook a complete restoration of the site.
Eastern Market Voices
During 2008–2009, the Overbeck Project commemorated the fire and the community’s inspiring response by conducting an ambitious set of oral history interviews with Market merchants and vendors, along with others who played an important role in the facility’s rebirth. Elizabeth Lewis coordinated the efforts that produced over 30 interviews within that time period. Use the Eastern Market filter on our Interviews page to select those timely interviews and others in which Eastern Market is a major topic.
“The Rebuilding” Video
Also with financial support from the Community Foundation, Capitol Hill native Langley Bowers videotaped interviews with vendors and neighbors and produced a 20-minute video documenting the Market’s rebirth. “Eastern Market: The Rebuilding” incorporates original footage of the fire, old and new photos of the Market, and scenes from the Market's June 26, 2009 re-opening ceremony.