City Hall and Market House

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[1872 – First or Second City Hall and Market House (drawing is dated 1872, before the construction of the second building, but the building looks like the second building)]

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[1873 – Second City Hall and Market House – Notes accompanying the 1873 Bird’s-Eye Map of Houston suggest this was the second building]

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[1873 – Second City Hall and Market House – Notes accompanying the 1873 Bird’s-Eye Map of Houston suggest this was the second building]

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[Second City Hall and Market House]

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[Third City Hall and Market House]

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[Third City Hall and Market House – 1891 Panoramic Map of Houston]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House (1907) – Rootsweb.com]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House (1908) – Rootsweb.com]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House (1917) – Rootsweb.com]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House – U.T. Center for American History]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House – Rootsweb.com]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House – George Fuermann Texas and Houston Collection, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries]

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[Fourth City Hall and Market House – Sloanegallery.com]


[Fourth City Hall and Market House serving as bus station – WPA Writers’ Program, Houston, a History and Guide]

Market Square is bounded by Travis, Milam, Congress and Preston streets. The block, which is now a park, was the site of four different successive buildings known as City Hall and Market House. The first was built there in 1841, the second in 1873, and the third in 1876. The Houston Daily Post reported in November 1897 that:

A force of carpenters, plasterers, etc., were at work yesterday in putting the market house in shape for the industrial exhibit that is to be made there during the Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Festival, December 6 to 11. This will be a very much needed improvement, and it is fortunate that something has occurred to bring it about, as the city hall has for a long time been in a most unsightly and dilapidated condition.

The fourth City Hall and Market House on Market Square stood the longest – from 1904 to 1960. However, when City Hall moved to its present location in 1939, the building was converted to a bus station. The fire bell from the third City Hall and Market House (which was destroyed by fire in 1903), and the clock from the fourth (built in 1904), have been incorporated into the Market Square Clock.

2 responses to “City Hall and Market House

  1. The bell actually dates from the 1876 City Hall. The bell twoer was damaged by the 1900 Hurricane and the bell was removed for repairs, at which time the building was destroyed by fire. The original bell was placed in the new City Hall.

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