The lecture was based on Ackerman's forthcoming book on the subject and coincided with the 200th anniversary of the market's founding at its original site near 6th and L Streets S.E. Publication of Making Eastern Market: Heart of the Capitol Since 1805 (Folger Park Press, 2009) was supported in part by the Overbeck Project.
Ackerman disclosed a wealth of detail from the market's improbable history, including the period when the building's north hall served as a stable for the firehouse next door and another when the basement served as a rifle range.
A Capitol Hill native and sixth-generation Washingtonian, Ackerman has pursued a varied career, moving from college English teacher to congressional aide to federal civil servant, and has worked for the past twenty years as a free lance writer. His articles have appeared in American Heritage, Smithsonian, Preservation, American History, Washington Post Magazine and many other publications.