WPA-era indoor market
The Essex Street Market was originally constructed in 1940 as part of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia's efforts to relieve street congestion by moving pushcart vendors indoors. It is one of four remaining WPA-constructed buildings that still function as thriving public markets in the city. It is an important part of the historical-cultural fabric of the Lower East Side.
The Essex Street Market's Art Moderne, utilitarian design features steel sash strip windows and concrete panels with incised lettering. The Essex Street Market is included in the plans for redeveloping the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA). While New York City seems committed to having the market continue in some form as part of the redevelopment, the existing market buildings are vulnerable to destruction. (March, 2011)