KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Today, Market Square is a centerpiece for Downtown Knoxville activity. From the farmer’s market to dining & shopping, to its nightlife, Market Square has become a true Knoxville and Tennessee Treasure.
With that said, the history of Market Square dates back not just years but centuries. According to The Knoxville History Project and Visit Knoxville, the creation of the square dates back to the mid-1850s when two men, William Swan and Joseph Mabry, donated the land to the city of Knoxville to create a public market.
In 1897, the large Market House was built. It was tall, brick Victorian building with space for about 60 vendors on the ground floor. It also contained public facilities, offices, and an auditorium upstairs. In the 1960s, the building was torn down and the farmers who would sell their produce lessened over time.
The market would see a resurgence in the early 2000’s thanks to the formation of the Market Square Farmers Market. Since that time, the area has undergone a major renovation. It now plays host to numerous festivals and concerts and has become a gathering point for many.
To read more about the history of market square, check out https://knoxvillehistoryproject.org/downtown-market-square/ and https://www.visitknoxville.com/blog/post/10-things-to-know-about-market-square/.