The Centre Market was established in 1787 as one of three public bazaars (including Fell’s Point and Lexington) aiming to provide food and goods to Baltimore’s growing population. With little or no public transportation available, these markets were essential to city life at the time.
Above one of the market’s original structureswas the Maryland Institute College of Art. The two story school was built on top of the building which covered an entire city block. It was destroyed during the Great Fire of 1904, was rebuilt and existed until 1959, when it was torn down to make way for the Jones Falls Expressway. Charm City’s first public bathroom was built on the property in 1907.
Centre Market, built after the fire of February, 1904, on the site of Marsh Market, which was destroyed, is a splendid modern structure. It cost $500,650 and extends from Baltimore to Pratt street, three blocks. There are two great halls over the northern (Baltimore street) end, which are used by the night classes of the Maryland Institute. Twelve hundred pupils may be comfortably accommodated here. There is also another large hall above the produce section, which will seat 2500 persons. The wholesale and retail fish market, connected with the Centre, has been pronounced the most complete in the world.
This marker is placed on the west outside wall of the old Fish Market building, and is near the Great Fire of 1904 Marker and Booth fountain. Port Discovery, an interactive museum for kids, occupies the building today.