Shopping the Essex Street Market in 1969 [PHOTOS]

Posted on: May 26th, 2016 at 9:26 am by

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The Essex Market in 1969, Photo: Susan Fensten, Robert M. Cunningham Collection

This month marks the 76th anniversary of the Essex Street Market.

With three years left until the collection of warehouse buildings is cleared for the opulence of Essex Crossing, it’s important to remember the history being left behind. These one-story brick structures were built by order of Mayor LaGuardia in 1940, with the purpose of pushing the plethora of pushcarts indoors.

Thanks to some sleuthing by reader Susan Fensten (who also co-runs the popular “Manhattan Before 1990” Facebook page), we have a colorful glimpse of the shopping experience in the Essex Street Market, circa June 1969. Fensten acquired these slides, which are from the Robert M. Cunningham collection.

We particularly enjoyed the photo of the vendor pulling out a cigarette while standing above his vegetable stand.

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: Susan Fensten, Robert M. Cunningham collection

The Essex Market won’t be celebrating its 80th at this location, though. As previously reported, these particular parcels – now collectively known as SPURA Lot 9 – are not slated for demolition and development until the decade is out (i.e. 2019). This allows the proper time cushion needed for Essex Market vendors to relocate across Delancey to the “Market Line” upon completion of the new 24-story tower on Site 2.

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