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Union Market Historic District approved by HPRB

Opponents of the HPRB’s approval described the process as “rushed”

This Thursday, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) made a 5-2 vote in favor of the historic district designation for the 74-building, 40-acre complex between Florida and New York avenues NE.

In 1928, a federation of wholesalers, called the Union Terminal Market Association, conceived the complex in anticipation of the demolition of Center Market. According to the Adolf Cluss international project website, Center Market was the largest market hall in the country when it was constructed with 57,500 square feet of floor space. The Union Market Terminal didn’t open until February 1931.

UrbanTurf reported that opponents of the historic designation described the process as “rushed and exclusionary,” further adding:

“It is the opinion of those who would be most immediately effected by this designation, summarized in a letter submitted by ANC 5D, that all would be in support of the historic preservation of the site on the condition that it not be approved until a set of design guidelines are also agreed upon and presented for a concurrent vote.”

Another concern included that historic preservation may impede efforts to add density to the buildings.

This past September, WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show discussed the efforts to designate the Union Market Terminal a historic district with D.C. Preservation League Executive Director Rebecca Miller and Masseria Chef and Owner Nicholas Stefanelli.

While a representative of EDENS was invited to the WAMU show due to the developer owning multiple properties in the area, the representative declined to attend. Miller said, “We have met with EDENS since the landmark nomination has been filed. They did not indicate whether they were supportive or not supportive.”

Curbed reached out to EDENS for a statement, but did not receive contact back by the time of this article’s publication.

Historic Landmark Case No. 16-18 [Historic Preservation Review Board]

Despite Opposition of Owners, HPRB OKs Union Market Historic District [UrbanTurf]