Charleston’s Centre Market, better known now as the City Market, celebrated its bicentennial in 2007, and just before the end of the year the city unveiled a new historical plaque to commemorate this anniversary. On Thursday, 20 December 2007, Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. and I pulled aside the drape to reveal the new plaque, the text of which I wrote earlier in the year. Throughout the year, Su Griffen of the city’s Office of Economic Development (seen here on the left) shepherded the plaque through the long process of committee approvals, fabrication, and site selection.
The main idea behind the text of the new plaque was to provide a brief yet accurate synopsis of the market’s place in Charleston’s history, and to recognize some of the most significant episodes in the market’s two hundred year existence. There is an unfortunate amount of misinformation about Charleston’s Centre Market circulating out there in print and in oral legend. I hope the unveiling of this plaque (of which there are duplicates at other locations in the market) represents the beginning of a new understanding of the public history of this venerable and popular institution.