Log in Newsletter

Fayetteville City Council to receive update on Market House repurposing


The Fayetteville City Council on Monday is expected to receive an update on the proposed repurposing of the Market House.

The council meets at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

The Market House has been a divisive issue for years, mainly because of its history of slaves being sold there.

Some people in the community have called for it to be torn down while others have suggested it be moved. The City Council has decided to repurpose the structure.

The Market House Repurposing Group was formed in late January 2021. The city worked with the U.S. Department of Justice, which held meetings to gather input on how the structure could be repurposed. 

In March, after hearing a report from the Department of Justice, the council voted to hear from more residents, and not just a select group, before making a decision on how to designate a true purpose for the building.

The report from the Department of Justice came together after the department worked with 80 people — in what was described as a diverse group from different walks of life — during two sessions in October and January to glean opinions for repurposing the Market House.

Several options were identified. They included educational or themed events at the Market House; expanding the base and alleviating the multiple traffic lanes; using the space for vendor events; and using it as a place where diverse artisans could display their work.

When the groups were asked to develop solutions to the proposals, they suggested involving various groups in the community, including Fayetteville State University, Methodist University, the Fayetteville History Museum, the Arts Council of Fayetteville-Cumberland County, as well as artists.

The Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Commission gathered additional community input on the proposed repurposing of the structure. It held meetings and created an online survey, according to background materials in the agenda packet.

According to materials in the agenda packet, the top recommendations from those meetings include:

  • Changing the language on the Market House plaque to reflect the involuntary nature of the enslaved.
  • Using the four corners of Market Square to display rotating art exhibits by local artisans.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville, City Council, Market House, repurposing