Join Date: May 2006
Farmer's market at Dewey Sq.
Group hopes 2d market will become year-round
South Station site will be first public use of Greenway
By Joe Yonan, Globe Staff | June 7, 2006
In its campaign for a year-round indoor facility, the Boston Public Market Association is opening a second farmers' market this year, on a highly visible site just across from South Station.
The group, which resumes its market on the old Northern Avenue Bridge tomorrow, will open the Dewey Square Plaza location, part of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, next Wednesday. The move will represent the first public use of the Greenway and an early occupation of a site that the association hopes may eventually be home to a permanent facility.
Each market will operate once a week, but there will be differences. Dewey Square, besides being more accessible to a larger group of commuters, will have about 20 vendors, twice the number as on the bridge. And the group is working with the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which controls the site , and with the city to bring to the location cooking demonstrations and other activities.
Even though it drew much-needed publicity, ``to some degree the Northern Avenue bridge market was like all the other markets in the city," said Greg Bialecki, chairman of the association's board of directors. ``At Dewey Square, we're hoping it will evolve to have additional programming."
It's all part of the goal of showing that a vibrant, year-round public market -- like those in Seattle, Philadelphia, Montreal, and San Francisco -- can be a center of community life.
After hiring its first executive director, Howard Liebowitz, the group is out to prove that it can handle the logistical challenges of market operation while expanding. This season may include the beginning of a Saturday morning market, on the bridge or elsewhere in the Fort Point area.
Meanwhile, long-term strategies about a permanent location are evolving. ``Instead of going from the summer market right to a 40,000-square-foot permanent market, we're very actively thinking about a way we can grow this incrementally," Bialecki said. That might mean a design that calls for a 10,000-square-foot market with a built-in ability to expand. ``That way we grow once we get the demand going, rather than build an empty shell and hope to fill it."
The association's progress comes amid bad news for New England's only year-round public market, in Portland, Maine, where the foundation that runs it decided to close the facility and sell the building.
Liebowitz said the Boston group's goals continue to draw support and interest. The annual budget remains at $150,000 to $200,000, and the cost of a full-size permanent facility has hit $10 million to $12 million.
Meanwhile, two Boston Architectural Center students are drafting designs for possible Boston Public Market structures, one on the Northern Avenue Bridge and the other on an MBTA storage facility on Harrison Avenue in the South End, as class projects.
Both the bridge and Dewey Square Plaza are being considered for an eventual permanent home. "We're just going to play it one day at a time," Liebowitz said.
When and where
Boston Public Market, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursdays starting tomorrow and through October, old Northern Avenue Bridge, off Atlantic Avenue; Wednesdays starting June 14 on Dewey Square Plaza across from South Station. See www.bostonpublicmarket.org for more information.
Joe Yonan can be reached at email@example.com.
? Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.