Center Market

Better known as:  Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter

Center Market (Source: Library of Congress)

Center Market. (Source: Library of Congress)

During the 19th century, Center Market was a nationally renowned place to shop. Designed by Adolf Cluss (who also constructed Eastern Market) in 1872, it was largest market hall in the entire nation. It had a floor space of over 57,000 square feet, three wings with 666 permanent market stalls, and thousands of visitors each day. However, by the 20th century chain stores and supermarkets were sweeping the nation, and the importance of markets like Center Market was in question. The answer: not important enough. In 1931, Center Market was destroyed to make way for, if you couldn’t tell by the current name of this station, the National Archives.