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La Marqueta (formerly Park Avenue Market)

About this listing

Indoor market serving East Harlem

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : East Harlem
Market, Shopping

Place Matters Profile

La Marqueta is an enclosed marketplace in East Harlem that has long served this neighborhood's diverse and changing population--from the Italian immigrants of the 1930s to the primarily Latino residents of today. Over the years it has been both a much-needed inexpensive shopping spot and an important social gathering place.

Originally called the Park Avenue Market, La Marqueta was established by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1936. Created as a way to regulate and control the many pushcarts that plied the streets of East Harlem, the market was designed to give permanent homes to 450 pushcart vendors in a series of five simple glass and steel structures underneath the New York Central Railroad. Residents of East Harlem quickly adopted the market as an essential resource--just four years after it was established the market was serving 25,000 patrons a day. Its success also helped LaGuardia establish other similar enclosed markets around the...

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Colon, Felipe. Interview by Laura Hansen for Place Matters. April 29, 1999.

Harlem Magazine. "Model Pushcart Market Suggested." November, 1930.

Michelmore, Peter. "Caribbean County Fair on Upper Park Avenue." Daily News, February 10, 1974.

Moore, Keith. "La Marqueta Face Lift in the Works." Daily News, September 25, 1987.

New York Times. "East Harlem Market Burns; Conrail Service Is Cut." July 5, 1977.

New York Times. "Trying to Revive La Marqueta." December 12, 1993.

New York Times. "La Marqueta Dream Fades." November 19, 1995.

Quinones, Gloria. Interview by Laura Hansen for Place Matters. April 29, 1999.

The City of New York Department of Markets: Activities of the Department. New York City, 1940.


Maritza Acosta (Cooper Union)

East Harlem's market in the late 60s, named La Marqueta (The Market) by the Puerto Rican immigrants. Located underneath the deafening railroad on Park between 110th and 116th Streets, the stalls in the market were bustling in business. Every specialty of Puerto Rican foods was sold here: cilantro, sofrito, adobo. La Marqueta's sellers and buyers shout prices and orders in Spanish, crack bones with meat cleavers, cut meat, scribble prices on paper and make their exchange. La Marqueta trembles and roars early Saturday mornings in the midst of East Harlem's Caribbean culture.

Celia Ramirez

It was originated started by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and serviced over 25,000 people a day. This is what started all the other markets around the city. Not only is it a place that helps to bring people in the area to one place, but it is a place where we can keep tradition and culture growing to help others to learn. It's a place where we can still come together as "human" people and not have to deal with cold non caring machines. La Marqueta would help to keep some of the economy in East Harlem.

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