Save The Essex Street Market

The Essex Street Market (120 Essex Street, NY, NY 10002) on the Lower East Side of New York City is an original city run market, operating continuously for over 70 years. It is thriving, with multi-generational vendors alongside independently owned entrepreneurial startups, with success stories reaching around the world.

Those of us who live in the Lower East Side, as well as those who seek out the Essex Street Market -- or come upon it by surprise -- cherish its history and service to the neighborhood. It's a living piece of Lower East Side history, created for pushcart vendors in January of 1940. It has been featured in many walking tours, movies, guidebooks, culinary media, and the climax scene of the 1948 film noir "The Naked City."
The market represents our diverse neighborhood, serving people from all walks of life. Many of the vendors could not exist outside the Essex Street Market.

So what may happen to the Essex Street Market? The recently passed Community Board 3 guidelines for the SPURA site redevelopment include the possibility of moving the Essex Street Market from its historic location to a nearby, yet to be determined location.

Loss of this historic market in its current location would be a loss for our neighborhood and for the city of New York. The Essex Street Market has already become a historic, culinary, and retail destination spot. There is no guarantee that the current vendors -- upon whom many neighbors rely -- could survive such a move.

NOW IS THE TIME TO VOICE YOUR SUPPORT TO PRESERVE THE ESSEX STREET MARKET IN ITS CURRENT, HISTORICAL LOCATION. OUR CITY LEADERS CANNOT MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS ABOUT THE MARKET WITHOUT OUR INPUT.
We the undersigned support the preservation of the Essex Street Market in its current and historic building and location. The market is a valuable piece of our Lower East Side history and continues to serve our diverse community. The current Essex Street Market is flourishing in part because of the hard work and funding the EDC has already committed to the market.

Moving the market to another location would strip it of its historic and architectural significance. The building is late 1930s-era Art Moderne-style architecture and was built specifically during Mayor LaGuardia's term for the local pushcart vendors. Today's vendors fill those same stalls.

Moving the market could also possibly put the current vendors--upon whom neighborhood residents rely--out of business. No retail business can predict whether its location will foster success. But for the vendors of the Essex Street Market, who have contributed their own labor and capital improvements, this location has proven to be an incubator for upstart businesses and an established retail location for multi-generational vendors. It works, it's thriving, and it's part of our Lower East Side heritage.

From the market's own website: "Essex Street Market continues to offer personalized service, a passion for quality and a connection to both the history and the culture of the Lower East Side."

We the undersigned oppose moving the Essex Street Market to another location. As you begin to envision the mixed-use possibilities for the city-owned properties on the Lower East Side, please keep in the forefront a commitment to the preservation of the Essex Street Market: a historic building with a thriving, successful culinary and retail market serving the diverse community of the Lower East Side.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
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