Published Jan. 6, 2009
The first phase of City Market construction work began this week to restore the open sheds between Church and State streets.
Vendors in buildings A and B have been transferred to building C and the Market Hall building as work is being done for the next two months to upgrade the facilities, which were built in 1841. The roofs are being repaired or replaced, floors upgraded, a new restroom and security cameras added, and lighting and air circulation improved.
After the first two buildings are restored, work will begin on building C, which is expected to take an additional two months. Merchants in building C will be moved to the other two buildings and to tents on South Market Street between Church and State streets. The city also has approved closure of the street during that time.
The City Market will remain open during the restoration, and the open-air buildings are expected to be completed by early May. The second phase of restoration is expected to start in the fall and will include the enclosed shops between Meeting and Church streets.
Restoration is being overseen by City Market Preservation Trust LLC, which took over management of the market in October 2008. Hightower Construction Co. and Glenn Keyes Architects are working on the project, and public market consultant David O’Neil is acting as an adviser.
“The City Market is a special place, offering a focal point for Charleston’s commercial activity since its early beginnings in 1804,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said in a news release. “We appreciate the efforts of the City Market Preservation Trust LLC to create an attractive space while allowing ‘business as usual’ for the dedicated merchants and their patrons in the market. We all look forward to the completed projects which will offer new energy and excitement for this favorite area.”
Cost of the restoration is estimated at $5 million and is being funded by a revenue bond from the city that will be repaid by income from the City Market.
“We expect sales to increase as a result of the renovation improvements, and our hope is to draw Charlestonians back to The Market and restore a sense of community,” said Hank Holliday, a partner in the preservation trust.