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The City Market is located in downtown Raleigh and refers to the space located across from Moore Square, between Person Street, East Davie Street, Blount Street, and Martin Street. The space has served multiple purposes over the years, transitioning from a farmer's market, to a furniture store, to its current purpose as a cultural hot spot hosting several businesses, restaurants, and bars.

  • The layout of City Market
  • National registry sign
  • Photo of the City Market entrance

Imagine cobblestone streets covered with farmers setting up their produce into booths; fishermen bringing in the fresh catch of the day; housewives decorating their booths with homemade cakes and pies. It is October 1, 1914 in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, at the opening of the City Market. The hustle and bustle of the city has not always been the way of life here. Suburbanization did not go into full swing until the 1940s and 1950s, after the return of thousands of soldiers from war. Locals were able to venture into the market to purchase produce, poultry, seafood, flowers, and homemade goods. [1]

Upon the opening of the new State Farmer’s Market in 1957 along with the opening up of several supermarkets, the need for a market in the downtown area lessened. The city had little use for the building anymore, forcing it to close its doors in June 1957. In 1959, the city sold the market building to a private owner who used it as a furniture store. Later, in 1980, after the property began to deteriorate, the City Council received funding to study the architecture surrounding Moore Square, located adjacent to Martin Street. Soon, the City Market was recognized by the National Register of Historical Places and listed as a Raleigh Historic Landmark.[2]

During the 1990s, a private investor purchased the space and revamped the buildings, encouraging a community of businesses to utilize the area. The space is now occupied with several different private businesses including boutiques, art spaces, professional services, restaurants, and bars. Market Hall, located in the main building, is an event hall that hosts weddings, socials, corporate and other events.[3] City Market also participates in First Friday, an event that takes place every month targeted to “art-seeking enthusiasts”[4] It is a free-flowing event, allowing attendees to guide themselves around several local art galleries, art studios, and museums and take advantage of specials offered by local restaurants.

The term ‘City Market’ refers to the space located across from Moore Square, between Person Street, East Davie Street, Blount Street, and Martin Street.

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