Tuesday, May 1, 2007

will it ever be the same?

Eastern Market is a Capitol Hill landmark and Washington’s oldest public market ~ in continuous use since it was built in 1873. What Washington resident hasn’t spent many a happy weekend morning at the market? We have all waited in line for blueberry pancakes at the Market Lunch, shopped the food hall for fresh fish, meat, bread, vegetables and flowers, or enjoyed browsing the stalls of the many talented artists and craftspeople. Early Monday morning, fire ripped through the south hall of the market, gutting the inside and collapsing part of the roof.

And then word came late yesterday afternoon that a fire was raging at the Georgetown Public Library, housed in a beautiful 19th-century building, and home to countless books, pieces of Georgetown history and the valuable Peabody Collection. News images of paintings, documents and half charred books strewn along the sidewalk, and curators desperately trying to salvage what they could, struck at my core.

In a city full of monuments, museums and tourists, these two places offered refuge to locals ~ for those of us who live here, these places are central to what it is to BE a Washingtonian. We will salvage what we can and will rebuild, but for now our hearts are aching

(top image: National Park Service, Historic American Buildings Survey; bottom image: AP photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


G. said...

I cannot imagine the devestation the vendors and the curators all feel at these tragic events. I've been hearing that the library fared better than expected, so that is good news, but it breaks my heart all the same. It just goes to show that history is fragile in many, many ways.

Kerry said...

This made me very sad. We used to visit Eastern Market on the weekends. My husband bought me a pretty little vase there, which we still have.