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Does Lexington Market really need to be replaced?

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Roughly Speaking episode 429:

A couple of years ago, the mayor of Baltimore announced plans to tear the market down and build, on the parking lot to its south, a big glassy structure to replace it. That plan provoked groans -- not only at the design, but at its estimated $60 million price tag.

Earlier this month, officials working on Lexington Market’s renovation came up with a new plan, not as expensive and one, they say, that can be put in place faster. The city chose Seawall Development, the firm behind the R. House food hall and other projects in Remington, to construct a new market for the vendors on the south lot, as before, but not the big glass box. The new plan calls for opening the Lexington Street arcade, built in the 1980s, into a grand pedestrian mall between Paca and Eutaw Streets. The plan would retain the market’s east building, where most of the vendors are now, and offer the west building, across Paca Street, for a separate redevelopment project.

In this episode, Dan goes to Lexington Market to speak with two key players: Robert Thomas, executive director of the city's public markets, and Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Further reading: Klaus Philipsen's Community Architect Daily essay on Lexington Market and Dan Rodricks' August 21 column, "Shop at Lexington Market, or the rat wins."

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