One of Baltimore-educated Black's first local commissions was the McIlwaine-Friend House (DW34). Although he moved to Iowa, he had returned to Petersburg by 1870, where he built one of the city's most distinctive structures, the octagonal market. This is a fairly late--and a large--manifestation of the mid-nineteenth-century fad for octagonal buildings inspired by Orson S. Fowler's The Octagon House, A Home for All (1848). Initially, the market's high-raftered interior, lit by an octagonal cupola, was primarily for the sale of meat and similar perishables, while the outside stalls sheltered by a shed-roofed canopy on cast-iron brackets were for produce. Windows above the canopy are round-arched, but several of the first-floor round-arched entrances have been replaced by windows. The brick market remains one of the city's main attractions.
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