The block where the National Archives is located, bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, Constitution Ave, 7th Street, and 9th Street, NW, was once the location of Center Market. Designed by Adolph Cluss, it was built in 1871. It was expanded in the 1880s with large wings also designed by Cluss.

Grand Central Palace, which contains bowling alleys and billard parlor at Center Market, Washington, D.C.

Open six days a week from dawn until noon, the market had thousands of daily customers. The structure was a model market with good light, ventilation, drainage, and wide aisles. It was razed in 1931.

Center Market, B Street (Constitution) sideCenter market interior ca. 1922

Left: Center Market, B Street (Constitution) side. Right: interior, ca. 1922.

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest, primarily within the District. He’s worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He’s been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and is a candidate for the DC Council, Ward 1. He has a MS in Design from Arizona State University with strong interests in preservation, planning, and zoning. Kent is also the force behind the blog Park View, DC.