The Farmers Market. That’s the answer. It’s the perfect spot at the southern entryway to downtown, across the street from South Park and adjacent to two of our most important civic institutions, the Watkins Museum of History and the Douglas County Courthouse. With the addition of Farmers Market at 11th & Mass., in the space where the old A & P grocery store and Allen Press used to be, we would have a remarkable place at the intersection of local food, history and civic participation. A hub for the whole community.
I realized that this dream was shared when I visited an open house for Farmers Market held at the Carnegie building last month. Among the displays from area producers was a wall of beautifully rendered architectural views of a new multi-use public space at 11th & Mass. designed with a permanent home for Farmers Market. The solution we hadn’t imagined.
The Allen family would become local heroes for seeing the civic potential of this place and selling the land to the City, and maybe the new Market could carry the Allen name in appreciation of their visionary gift.
Or, we could get the other HUB, one catering to luxury living only for those who can afford it, a parking nightmare and a blot on our most vibrant and historic civic intersection.