Main Street Market

501 Main Street
Baton Rouge, LA

Submitted by: sandy saye

New public market in downtown Baton Rouge. Built to house the wildly popular farmers market held each Saturday.

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Why It Works

Built within a new state garage -- but owned by private non profit group -- the planners added awnings, 15 outside benches, wonderful landscaping, with mini kumquat tree, rosemary and other herbs, with an agricultural flair. The market has a wonderful mural of a farm scene, has banners with veggies and so on.... a magnificent space. Inside the market hall is space for 12 small permanent businesses and four kitchens. One is an incubator for new food producers. The garage was built as a retail mix with garage on top six floors and retail on bottom floors. It has truly become a gathering place for the revitalized downtown BR. It welcomed over 8,000 guests at grand opening and the Saturday crowds are incredible. Baton Rouge needed a meeting space and this is it.

What Makes Main Street Market a Great Place?

The downtown community of state and business employees now has a "hang out" place- a place to shop. It is accessible by foot, by car- free parking, and by bus or small shuttle for downtown employees and visitors. The landscape and bright lettuce green awnings with benches for outside seating at every window-15- make it a great place to sit in the sun and enjoy the weather.

Clean, safe- state staff regularly polices, garage staff, cameras in parking garage, etc. vehicles are not on street for farmers market, garage cannot be seen from market- in fact most people say they cannot find the free parking at the market- when the garage is a part of the building.

A public market, farmers market, music, arts, restaurants, shops, children’s music, cooking classes, downtown meeting space, lunch stop, mid day break, tourist stop-- all ages and genders are present.

There is a great element of pride here- people bring grand children, cousins, children for New York- to brag and show off. Everyone sees everyone here from all walks of life-people talk, listen to music and more. Very diverse and a way to interact with neighbors and community members.

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