Culture & Style

The Charleston City Market

BY THE NUMBERS: A GIFT TO CHARLESTON

In 1877, Statesman Charles Cotesworth Pinckney cedes land to the City of Charleston with the stipulation that it must always be used as a municipal market. An open-air, European-style produce fair is established for Lowcountry farmers, fisherman, and cattleman.

In 1973, the Charleston City Market is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2010, a $5.5. million renovation and restoration of the entire market gets underway, and the newly refurbished Charleston Market reopens to the public in 2011. The centerpiece of the historic landmark, the Great Hall, is now an enclosed and air-conditioned retail corridor with 20 permanent pocket-sized shops anchored by Historic Charleston Foundation’s flagship emporium filled with local cookbooks, locally-grown tea, reproduction furniture and distinctive furnishings, sterling silver jewelry, fine art prints, culturally significant souvenirs, notecards adorned with local landmarks, historically significant Sacred Bird and Butterfly Mottahedeh china, cocktail accessories, Charleston-inspired Christmas tree ornaments, and much more.

Today, the four-block-long attraction is home to more than 300 vendors during the daytime, including 50 sweetgrass basket weavers, and more than 75 vendors during the seasonal night market, making the Charleston City Market the cultural heart of Charleston.

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