Monday, August 4, 2014

Monroe St Market : Big Addition to Edgewood & Brookland

East face of Brookland Works apartment building.
Monroe Street Market is a development of retail, residential, and arts spaces located on the border between  the Edgewood and Brookland neighborhoods. The main part of the development consists of four multi-unit apartment buildings constructed just west of the Brookland Red Line Metro station. The apartments are well and good, but the most exciting parts are the first floor retail spaces and "Arts Walk" studio components. 

On the retail/restaurant side, the major additions open to date are Barnes & Noble Bookstore (as the official CUA bookstore), &pizza, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop. On the way are Busboys & Poets, Brookland Pint (same owners as Meridian Pint), and Filter Coffee Shop. There's also a farmers market at Arts Walk on Saturdays 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

The Arts Walk features 27 studio work and presentation spaces for artists of all types. There are studios featuring painters, printmakers, clothiers, woodworkers, photographers; it's a neat mix. The spaces are cozy, ranging from 300 square feet to 625 square feet; although many have magnificently high ceilings and cool roll-up garage doors. 

When I visited last weekend I stopped in a studio that was hosting open hours, the American Poetry Museum's Gallery and Reading Room (Studio 25). I had a chance to chat with the executive director who has a really positive outlook about the concept a new creative district in Brookland. For its part, the Museum conducts writing workshops and hosts readings onsite and also travels to schools to take its educational programming directly to students. They also feature multi-media art exhibitions in the Gallery Room.

The best part about the Museum and other studios on the Art Walk is that they are located about 100 feet from an entrance to the Brookland Metro station. Hopefully that will eventually translate to more visitors from outside of the immediate neighborhood. The Monroe Street Market buildings are located on the 600 and 700 blocks of Monroe St NE; between Michigan Ave and the the Brookland Metro Station. Aside from Metro, the development can be reached from Mount Pleasant via H2/H4/H8 buses or a mostly flat bike ride.

Retail spaces are mostly empty to date, but Busboys has singed on.

Typical studio frontage.

American Poetry Museum has open hours on the weekend.
Arts Walk is located on the ground level between the Brookland Works buildings.