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City Market

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1879, Bernard J. Black; 1924 remodeling, Samuel Daley Craig. 9 E. Old St.

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 Windows above the canopy are round-arched, but several of the first-floor round-arched entrances have been replaced by windows.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.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee
Anne Carter Lee



  • 1879

  • 1924


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Anne Carter Lee, "City Market", [Petersburg, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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