Published On: Sun, May 1st, 2011

DC Illustrated: Historic O Street Market

Just recently Nduku and I started going to the Giant grocery store at the corner of O Street NW and 7th Street NW, just down the street from where we live. On the same block is the historic O Street Market which looks more like ruins than anything of value. The scenery there at the Giant, well, there is no scenery. It feels like you just stepped into the 80s when you shop there.

Sure, there’s a Safeway much closer to our pad [and decades newer] as well as a freshly minted Harris Teeter just down the road that still has the new car smell, but the Giant surprised us one night with some tasty ready-to-eat hot foods. And shopping at the Giant is cheaper than the Safeway and Harris Teeter; then again, its bills are probably a lot less than Safeway’s lease at City Vista or Harris Teeter’s in whatever that building is called.

Fast forward to 2014 [give or take] though, Giant is going to give them both a run for their money. And ours I’m sure. Roadside Development is bringing the block including the O Street Market into the future with some lofty plans.

Constructed in 1881, the O Street Market was one of several public markets that served Washingtonians during the 19th Century. Over the years, the Market functioned not only as a market but as a place for residents to meet and socialize. The CityMarket at O will recreate this experience when the historic Market is restored and incorporated into a new 71,000-square foot Giant Food Store. The new store will combine the charm of the 19th Century with 21st Century efficiency to create one of Washington’s largest food stores and the East Coast’s most unique and interesting shopping experiences.

Until one of Washington’s largest grocery stores open its doors, we’ll keep going there for their chicken wings and potato wedges. Construction was supposed to start in February, but so far nothing. Here are a few photos I took the other day…

O Street Market in Washington, DC
O Street Market in Washington, DC

Giant in Washington, DC
The Giant at O and 7th Streets NW

O Street Market in Washington, DC
The corner of O and 7th Streets NW in Washington, DC

O Street Market in Washington, DC
The corner of O and 7th Streets NW in Washington, DC

O Street Market in Washington, DC
Let’s hope they start rehabbing O Street Market before the walls give out.


About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.


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