Why the Dewey Square Market Is No More

A new neighbor, Sam of Little Impact (click on the link to see his blog) wrote to ask me about the Dewey Square Market and what’s going on. I checked with my friends at the Boston Public Market Association and here’s the sad news, and the hopeful news.

My travels recently have reinforced for me what a vibrant addition to a world class city a public market would be:

Statement from Boston Public Market Association – on the Dewey Square Market and on the continuing struggle to achieve a city commitment to the year-round public market:

"BPMA would have liked to have kept the Dewey Square Market in operation. It was a source of fresh, local foods for those in the South Station/Leather
District/Fort Point/Chinatown areas. Unfortunately, the only loading/unloading option available to us involved the use of Atlantic Ave and hence, a police detail. Last year, the cost of that detail exceeded $19,000. We cannot pass those costs on to the vendors, because frankly, there are many other places they can go given the demand for fresh produce, baked goods, etc.

We met several times with representatives of the City (which manages traffic), the Turnpike Authority (which still owns Dewey and Parcel 22), and the Rose Kennedy Conservancy (which will probably gain a long term lease for these sites next year. Despite consideration of several alternatives, the collective will was not there to find an agreement. At that point, the Board decided to get back to its main purpose for existence - the creation of a year-round market for the City of Boston."

If other cities can do it, why not Boston?

A year round market for the city such as Pike Place in Seattle pictured here would be divine in the opinion of The Leather District Gourmet. It creates a hub for the city’s residents, it brings in tourist revenue and it supports local vendors, growers and artisans.

The hopeful news is that a study has been commissioned, as reported by the Boston Herald here: City Wants Year Round Market.

If you look at what residents have put up with (I could fill the Boston Channel with dust from the construction and I’m several stories up!) – not only dirt but noise and traffic jams, not to mention, cost-overruns etc., the promised parcel for a market should not require further study. Promises of a beautiful Rose Kennedy greenway, a Conservancy, public green space, well, they remain only partially fulfilled. Until we get that market, we’ll continue to be second-class instead of first-class as cities go.

The Ferry Building Marketplace – San Francisco

This Labor Day the beautiful Ferry Building market in San Francisco will host the Slow Food Nation “Come to the Table” event bringing, farmers, artisans, and activists together. The Ferry building:

is a gorgeous year round market, featuring seasonal, local foods, cheeses, coffees, flowers, and this summer, Boccalone Salumeria. Check out this website for the Ferry Building Marketplace, tell me it doesn’t make you green with envy for a green market here!

A trip to Copley today showed a couple of bakeries, some herb and flower vendors. What about Spring veg? Ramps or lettuces, morels? Seems something should be in by now…?

~ by jacqueline1230 on June 10, 2008.

4 Responses to “Why the Dewey Square Market Is No More”

  1. I was wondering why the Farmers Market hadn’t started yet. Now I know why. I work right near South Station and it was really convenient. I guess I’ll have to treck over to Copley. : (

  2. I’m always so sad that Boston doesn’t have a year-round market. I always search out places like this when I travel – Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market was the last one I hit up.

  3. Where will the $$$ come from to build a beautiful building like in Seattle? And if there are loading zone/access issues now, I imagine it’d be worse with a big building.

  4. Fridays
    Massachusetts Farmers Markets

    Cambridge/Charles Square
    Noon – 6:00 pm Friday
    June 6 – November 21
    Charles Hotel Courtyard at Harvard Square

    Copley Square
    11:00 am – 6:00 pm Friday
    May 20 – November 25
    Copley Square, along St. James Ave.

    Boston Medical Center
    10:30 am – 1:30 pm Friday
    August 1 to August 29
    Inside the Menino Pavilion

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