The only two surviving buildings directly associated with the Waterfront's early 20th century Municipal Fish Wharf and Market on Water Street (currently known as Maine Avenue) may soon become historic landmarks. The District Office of Planning and Economic Development submitted an application to justify the historical significance of the Lunch Room Building and the Oyster Shucking Shed at 1100 Maine Avenue SW. Currently, the two connecting buildings are known solely as Fish Cleaning Building. In the application, it reads:
"The construction of the Lunch Room Building and the Oyster Shucking Shed are tied to the early twentieth-century movement led by Congress to clean up and beautify the Southwest Waterfront. The Lunch Room first operated as a dining establishment for market workers and fishmongers, subsequently serving as a cafe and restaurant for the public. The Oyster Shucking Shed provided a facility for the fishmongers to shuck oysters before being enclosed for use as a fish cleaning facility. Subsequently, the two buildings were joined, making a direct connection between the dining facility and the fish cleaning operations. The Lunch Room Building and the Oyster Shucking Shed are remnants of the once-bustling Southwest Waterfront and the Municipal Fish Market that existed prior to the urban renewal efforts of the 1950s and 1960s. Today, the attached buildings recall the historic use of the waterfront as a fish market dating to the early 1800s, the Congressionally supported health and sanitation improvements to the site in 1916-1918, consistent with the rise of the Progressive Era, and the demolished Municipal Fish Market Building that was the centerpiece of the Municipal Fish Market."
Hill Now reported that both buildings have fallen into disrepair and have not been used since 2010. There is a variety of renovations planned for Maine Avenue Fish Market, the oldest open-air market in the nation. Plans include renovating the oyster shed into an oyster bar, constructing a market shed and market pavilion, and adding a distillery building that will feature a tasting room, retail store, and event space. A public hearing on the Fish Cleaning Building's historic landmark application is scheduled for next month
· Maine Avenue Fish Market Buildings Might Become Historic Landmarks [Hill Now]
· Fish Market Owners Sue Wharf Developers, D.C. Government [Curbed DC]
· Waterfront Fish Market to Get Whole New Look in Two Years [Curbed DC]