Lexington Market

Description

The "gastronomic capital of the world" declared Ralph Waldo Emerson on a visit to Lexington Market. Established in 1782 on land donated by John Eager Howard, Lexington Market was an overnight success as local farmers flocked to the site to sell their produce. Although the original intention of the market was to sell only Maryland-grown produce by the turn of the twentieth century, the market offered an international selection as thousands of immigrants moved to Baltimore and became both vendors and customers at Lexington Market.

The city kept the price to rent a stall at the market low to encourage aspiring business owners to get their start. This practice was particularly beneficial for immigrants who had few job opportunities upon entering the United States. As a result, immigrant communities grew around Lexington Market and helped establish a diverse community in West Baltimore. The new products offered at the market contributed to the international fame it would attain at the turn of the century.

While the form of Lexington Market has changed dramatically over the decades -- the early frame market shed was replaced in 1952 following a 1949 fire and the city significantly expanded the market in the 1980s -- the community of vendors and locals continues to draw crowds of residents and tourists daily.

Photos Show

Lexington Market, ca1903

Photograph of Lexington Market published by the Detroit Publishing Company, c1903.

Image courtesy the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-D4-16538.

Lexington Market, ca 1910

Photograph of Lexington Market published by the Detroit Publishing Company, between 1900 and 1910.

Image courtesy the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-D4-43299.

Lexington Market area, 1869

Excerpt showing the Lexington Market area from the E. Sachse, & Co.'s Bird's Eye View of the City of Baltimore, 1869. Published 1870.

Image courtesy the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, G3844.B2A3 1869 .S3 Vault.

Lexington Market, 1937

Photograph of the main entrance to Lexington Market by Meredith Janvier (1872-1936), ca 1937.

Image courtesy the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Maryland's State Library Resource Center, mdaa004. All Rights reserved. Used with permission. Unauthorized reproduction or use prohibited.

Lexington Market, 1956

Photograph of Lexington Market from the Sussman-Ochs Company, 1956.

Image courtesy the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Maryland's State Library Resource Center, mdaa186. All Rights reserved. Used with permission. Unauthorized reproduction or use prohibited.

Lexington Market, 1914

Postcard view of Lexington Market published by the Leighton and Valentine Company, New York, ca 1914.

Image courtesy the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Maryland's State Library Resource Center, mdpc118_001. All Rights reserved. Used with permission. Unauthorized reproduction or use prohibited.

Lexington Market, 1925

1925 etching of Lexington Market made by Sears Gallagher (1869-1955).

Image courtesy the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Maryland's State Library Resource Center, mdcp094. All Rights reserved. Used with permission. Unauthorized reproduction or use prohibited.

Lexington Market, 2012

Photograph by Kurt Waters, 2012. Image courtesy Baltimore Heritage.

Lexington Market, 2012

Photograph by Kurt Waters, 2012. Image courtesy Baltimore Heritage.

Lexington Market from Eutaw Street, 2012

Photograph by Kurt Waters, 2012. Image courtesy Baltimore Heritage.

Subjects

Cite this Page

Keegan Skipper and Theresa Donnelly, University of Maryland Baltimore County, “Lexington Market,” Explore Baltimore Heritage, accessed April 24, 2014, http:/​/​explore.​baltimoreheritage.​org/​items/​show/​63.​
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