Shapiro, Local Leaders Pledge to Rebuild Harrisburg’s Historic Broad Street Market After Fire

Gov. Josh Shapiro surveying the damage inside the Broad Street Market on Monday, July 10, 2023. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

July 10, 2023

After an electrical fire devastated Harrisburg’s Broad Street Market early Monday morning, Gov. Josh Shapiro and Harrisburg officials announced plans to offer support to the affected businesses and help rebuild the historic building.

Harrisburg’s historic Broad Street Market suffered from a devastating fire in the early morning hours on Monday, as half of the building’s roof and businesses were destroyed following an electrical fire from a ceiling fan that was installed in 2017.

The Broad Street Market, first built in 1860, is the oldest continuously operating farmers market in the country. The market consists of two buildings, the original stone building and the brick building, and the fire took place in the brick building which was completed in the 1870s. 

“The Broad Street Market is so much more than just a place where you buy and sell food. It is quite literally the primary symbol of Harrisburg,” Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams said at a press conference on Monday. “Today is not the end of the Broad Street Market. We will rebuild it. We will rebuild the building and we will rebuild its business.”

The Harrisburg mayor was joined at the press conference by Gov. Josh Shapiro, Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline and State Reps. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin), Justin Flemming (D-Dauphin) and Dave Madsen (D-Dauphin). 

Enterline thanked the Harrisburg firefighters and others from around the region that joined to put out the blaze. Because of their work, they were able to preserve the rest of the building and save other businesses from suffering in the fire. 

“The building you see behind us can be and will be rebuilt. What I’m proud to say, the gentlemen that are with us, the members of the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire, did one tremendous job keeping the remaining roof and remaining nearly unaffected on the other side of the building,” said Enterline.  

The Broad Street Market is a critical resource for the community, since much of the city is a food desert. 

“The Broad Street Market has a longstanding history of being a staple in this community and meeting a great need. During the Civil War, farmers fed union soldiers located at Camp Curtin,” said Denise Hill, the Director of Harrisburg’s Department of Building and House Development.  “Most recently, the single remaining produce vendor in the brick building was the primary source of fresh food and vegetables in this area.” 

For his part, Shapiro explained the steps his administration is already taking to aid in the reconstruction of the Broad Street Market: 

  • The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Association will coordinate with the Small Business Administration to support individual vendors.
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will work with vendors to keep them in business while the rebuild is taking place. 
  • The mayor and the City of Harrisburg will determine what the rebuild looks like. They will develop the costs and plan to rebuild and work with the Department of Community and Economic Development to secure grants and loans to make the rebuild possible.  

“You’re going to see government at all levels now work together to emulate the service these fire fighters demonstrated in that dangerous time,” Shapiro said. “We are all now going to come together and do what’s necessary to support the rebuild.”

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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