TThe original City Market started in 1755 when the farmers and the fishermen would bring their "wares" to market. Horse-pulled wagons would be brimming with goods, and the area was filled with activities. The market area was Savannah's commercial center.
Unfortunately, the first two Market buildings were destroyed by fire, and a third was torn down after it was used as a "dressing station" during the Siege of Savannah in the Civil War. But, it was the Market building of 1872 that was the most popular and most well remembered. This building was a building with Romanesque arches, a soaring roof line, circular windows, and was constructed with brick in an ornate design.
This is the building that survived for 200 years, but after the supermarket (air-conditioned) became popular in Savannah, the old Market was thought of as a "relic"; thus, plans were made to tear it down to put up a parking garage.
For years, there was a heated debate; yet, in 1954, the grand old Market building was knocked down. This sad incident "fanned the flames of determination for historic-mined Savannahians who vowed to protect and preserve historic structures in the city."
The most active of these people were seven women who ended up forming the Historic Savannah Foundation That organization is still active today.
The Savannah Market was rebuilt and is thriving today as The New City Market.
It's now a pedestrian-only arcade along West St. Julian between Barnard & Montgomery. It's where the "toniest" shops and finest restaurants reside.The area includes outdoor cafes, underground clubs, eateries, galleries, and other unique shops.
This new market has become a magnet for the locals who craved a more "laid-back alternative to the boisterous River Street scene." It's a more serene place with a romantic ambience, a historic flavor, and an artistic aura.
History of City Market
While the City Market is known today more as an area or spot, years ago it was known as a specific building. In the mid 1700's, it was a market where merchants and farmers traded animals, vegetables and other goods. People from all across the Southeast came to trade in the City Market. But the building would not survive. In fact, it would be destroyed twice by fire, once by war, and finally by modernization. In 1954, the fourth building was torn down because it could not compete with the modern supermarkets and malls. So, while there is no historic building called City Market, many of the buildings along Julian Street have been restored, and the whole area is known as City Market today.
What is happening now:
The City Market is a quaint gathering spot in Savannah. It is a place people gather to eat, shop, visit, and enjoy festivals. It is a thriving part of the town's atmosphere. People stroll in and out of galleries and shops.
Throughout the year, the city hosts a wide variety of events. Many of them happen in front of Malone's, a local bar. Every Friday and Saturday there is live music; Bucky and Barry are one of the many local musicians that come to the City Market. People sit in the courtyard and listen to the music. I’ve visit Savannah several times and we always spend time at the City Market. We love to listen to Bucky and Barry, who sing and play a quiet mix of classic country and light rock. If you ever are in Savannah, you must look them up, but don't forget to put some Love in the Bucket (you will know what we mean when you see them).
CITY MARKET is not a place you visit. It's a place you discover and explore. A place that's romantic, historic, serene and exciting. A place where there's always something new to encounter, something different to find, something hidden to uncover. You may have to look around a corner, behind an old door or up a remote staircase. But that's just part of the charm and what makes CITY MARKET so special. There is Art, Dining, Entertainment, History, and Shopping it is not just for the Locals to find Entertainment on the weekends the Market caters to the tourists as well. The local artists hand make their items. There are some "chain" type stores but by in large the shops and restaurants are locally owned and one of a kind. In 1755 it was a marketplace where you could purchase fresh seafood, tobacco, fresh vegetables, etc. The market was Savannah’s social and commercial center of life.
The City Market is a district (for lack of a better word) in Savannah that is full of art galleries, jewelery stores and other cute and classy shops and restaurants. Also of note in the City Market is that carriage tours leave from out of here, so if you want to tour Savannah in a horse drawn carriage, head straight the City Market.
City Market is the place where most locals go on the weekends. There are a couple restaurants and shops. Mostly they go to drink beer and listen to live music, which you will find on most weekends.
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