The Georgetown Market-Washington DC


Georgetown Market
NPS Photo

The Georgetown Market, located at 3276 M Street, between East and West Market Streets in Georgetown, was built in 1865 on the site of an earlier 1795 market, which was the first public market in Washington, DC. The one-story brick market originally measured 40 feet with three bays across the front and 150 feet and nine bays along the sides. The M Street facade of this functional arcaded market house consists of a recessed round-arched door six feet wide and sixteen feet high, flanked on either side by a round-arched window. The basement of the market is probably part of the 1796 market, or it may have been constructed when the C & O canal was built in 1831. The foundation walls are four feet thick and rise 15 feet high, supporting the market floor.

The long history of the site shows the depth of Georgetown’s commercial activity, from Revolutionary times to the present. Prior to the market in 1795, the site was occupied by a butcher’s market, and subsequently replaced by a debtors prison. In 1795 a frame market house was constructed. Due to the growth of Georgetown at this time, the frame market was torn down a year later and replaced by an expanded and more permanent market house. Although the market was expanded several times from 1795 to the Civil War, the market had become run down. In 1865 the old market was razed and the current market was built. The market held butchers, fish mongers, dairy farmers, and sellers of produce. In 1966 Congress passed legislation directing the District of Columbia to preserve the market as a historic landmark, to operate and maintain it as a market, and to make a small portion of the market available to the National Park Service for the C & O Canal Museum.

The Georgetown Market is now occupied by Dean and Deluca gourmet food store and is located at 3276 M St., NW, in Georgetown. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Metro stop: Foggy Bottom