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West Side Market named Great Public Space

Meredith Collier

Issue date: 1/30/09 Section: Focus
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Stepping inside of the West Side Market, it's hard not to pause in amazement. A 44-foot tall, herringbone-patterned vaulted ceiling runs the length of the market. Beneath the impressive ceiling, 99 vendors sell the freshest poultry, breads, beef, cheese, and seafood west of the Cuyahoga. Next door, another 81 vendors jostle for business in the fruit and vegetable arcade, each vendor always trying to sell customers one more pound of oranges or an extra cantaloupe. Simply put, the West Side Market is one of the most unique and splendid places in Cleveland.

The American Planning Association thinks so too. Each year, the APA hands out just 10 "Great Public Spaces" awards, honoring public spaces that exemplify "exceptional character" as well as "functionality and community involvement." Cleveland's own West Side Market was chosen as one of these outstanding public spaces in 2008. "It's something that speaks well for the market," says George Bradac, the manager of markets. "We were the only space chosen in the state of Ohio." Bradac explains that the West Side Market faced some tough competition from other public spaces across the nation, which included co-winners Central Park in New York City and the Santa Monica Beach in California. Bradac explains that what makes the West Side Market so special to the people of Cleveland is that the market represents tradition, and the market's vendors work to preserve the "old-fashioned" way of treating customers.

At Vera's Bakery, the owner Diane expressed the same sentiments as Bradac. "It's a great place to shop. It's friendly," she says. Diane, who has owned Vera's since 1975, knows her regular customers, and watches them come and go over the years. "It's a lot different from going to the grocery store ­- it's a lot more personal." At Meisters, a butcher's shop, a young employee named Joyce explains that Meisters has been at the West Side Market for 27 years. When asked about her favorite part about working at the market, she laughs. "I enjoy the people. There's never a dull moment at my job!"
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In This Issue


  • Black History Month luncheon
  • Empowered by credit cards
  • Have you heard about: Engineers Without Borders?
  • Integrity Week to kick off
  • Robert Petit lecture elucidates Cambodia's "killing fields"
  • Student State of the University Address looks for improvement
  • Survey results provide new details of SAGES progress
  • Tuition increase scaled back amid tough times


  • A strong finish, finally
  • Browns fans should rethink rivalry
  • Dukes, Gardella place at Wheaton Invitational
  • Hockey: Against Pitt-Greensburg, third period and power play problems
  • Spartan Spotlight: Bryan Erce
  • Swimmers get wins in last meet before conferences
  • Throwback Weekend: Old-school jerseys are a growing trend
  • Track: Case, Mellon go head-to-head in first dual
  • Women's Basketball: Henry's last-second layup lifts Spartans

Fun Page

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  • Letter to the editor: Putting life on hold for inauguration is over the top
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  • Alternative girl band makes its Cleveland debut
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  • The Spartan guide to style: Preparing to spring forward
  • The Worst Case Scenario: Saving the economy
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