Dearborn Street Market

the big picture

to market,
to market

How do you change the social dynamic of a street with high vacancy rates and safety issues? cityLAB wants to fill it with people with a purpose. This is how the idea for the Dearborn Street Market was born. Not only will it stimulate the local economy by allowing residents to peddle their wares, whether they are craft projects, locally grown food or used clothing, but it will also bring outside capital into the neighborhood and make Garfield more visible to the world.

On a street facing so many challenges that some community members question the its safety, the Dearborn Street Market is a way to take a block back.

As part of their Issues of Practice class in the fall of 2011, a group of Carnegie Mellon architecture students (Hank Mei, Talia Perry, Medha Singh, Jessica Wang, and Zachary Weimer) worked on an implementation plan for this incentive. That work is excerpted here. Issues of Practice is one example of the community design collaborations of the Urban Design Build Studio – read more about UDBS here.

three stages

The market will be developed in a series of stages, from a trial phase with temporary structures to subsequent semi-permanent and permanent structures planned once the market becomes an established event in the neighborhood.


The Dearborn Street Market will provide a marketplace for existing urban farms in Garfield, including Garfield Community Farm, Healcrest Urban Farm, and Churchview Farm. Local precedents such as Pittsburgh Flea and I Made It! Market, as well as local farmer’s markets in East Liberty and Bloomfield have shown how popular markets can be and that people will go out of their way to find them. The Dearborn Street Market will help draw new audiences up to Dearborn Street and increase Garfield’s visibility.

market targets

The Dearborn Street Market will tackle all six of our 6% Place priorities:


We’ll update this page as plans continue to develop. You can help by posting a comment or sending us an email. We’d like to hear your thoughts.

 This project is part of cityLAB’s 6% Place – read more about the experiment and how the Dearborn Street Market supports the 6% Place here.

other experiments