This is the oldest municipal building in continuous use in Texas. Beneath its extensively remodeled exterior are arched openings that were once open for commerce, but now are enclosed as office space. Despite its altered appearance, the building survives as a Brownsville icon, with its Mission Revival domed tower of 1949 incorporated into the official seal of the city.
The old City Market was a belated attempt by the Brownsville Town Company in 1850 to create a public space by carving an entire city block to place the facility at its center. Once completed, the new square acted as a magnet for the construction of several residential-commercial compounds that showcased examples of the more intricate late-nineteenth-century version of the Border Brick style.