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D.C. Officials Ponder Temporary Market Design

With the site of a temporary Eastern Market nearly decided, city officials and residents are turning their attention toward what type of structure should temporarily house displaced vendors during the reconstruction of the now-gutted Eastern Market.

Community groups and vendors quickly agreed the structure — expected to stay standing for about two years — will sit on the Hine Junior High School yard, catty-corner to the market. Where to buy the building is still uncertain, though it will likely come from a company that sells prefabricated structures.

At a meeting May 7, city officials circulated designs for a Sprung structure, which is made of aluminum and could include a skylight and windows. But the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee discussed May 9 other places to purchase “structured insulated panels,” which can withstand severe weather and be assembled rather quickly. Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) has estimated that the structure could be completed within a couple of months.

Vendors say they want the structure to be as cheap as possible but also stress that it will need plumbing and refrigeration. And although many call for energy efficiency, the extra windows that might save on air conditioning also could let in the sunlight that spoils meats and cheeses.

EMCAC members estimated that the cost for the structure would be $400,000 to $500,000, while additional plumbing could cost $800,000 to $1 million more. City officials have not yet decided on the final design and manufacturer of the building, said Mafara Hobson, spokeswoman for Fenty.

‘Last Samurai’ Star at Freer Gallery Today
Ken Watanabe starred in “Letters from Iwo Jima,” “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “The Last Samurai,” and today you can catch him in the flesh at the Freer Gallery of Art.

The Japanese actor, an Academy Award nominee once named one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people, will be on hand at 3 p.m. in the Freer’s Meyer Auditorium to introduce a sneak preview of the film “Memories of Tomorrow,” in which Watanabe plays a Japanese executive facing early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Admission to the movie, which runs 122 minutes, is on a first-come, first-served basis, with the doors opening at 2:20 p.m.

For more information, go to or call the gallery’s visitor information line: 202-633-1000. The Freer Gallery of Art is located at 1050 Independence Ave. SW on the National Mall.

C-SPAN Airs Winning ‘StudentCam’ Videos
The winners of C-SPAN’s annual “StudentCam” video documentary contest will start airing on the channel today.

Open to middle and high school students, this year’s topic was: “Which political issues are of greatest importance to you and why?” This year’s winning film, “Jupiter or Bust: The El Sol Solution,” is about illegal immigration and was made by three students from Florida.

The contest names 45 winners and awards $25,000 in cash prizes. The top 25 videos will be played, one per day, on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” morning program today through June 15.

“Young people are more interested than ever in using video to communicate their views and opinions about the issues that matter to them, especially with the growth of sites such as YouTube,” C-SPAN’s vice president of education relations, Joanne Wheeler, said in a statement. “That’s why StudentCam is so relevant and interesting every year.”

All 45 winning videos are available online at

— Emily Yehle, Bree Hocking and Daniel Heim

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Photos of the week ending December 8, 2023