Lancaster Central Market

King Street & Queen Street (NW corner), Penn Square
Lancaster, PA

Submitted by: Mark Hiester

Publicly-owned farmer's market


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Why It Works

This is the country's oldest publicly-owned, continuously-operated farmers market. The site itself has been used as a market since the 1730's. Originally there was an arcaded market at the rear of Old City Hall and under the Masonic Hall. The Central Market, built in 1889, is a favorite of citizen and visitor alike. It was designed by Philadelphia architect, James Warner, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The characteristic towers of the Romanesque Revival style building peer out from amongst the other buildings on Penn Square.

What Makes Lancaster Central Market a Great Place?

The market building is a cornerstone in the fabric of the primary and central public space in Lancaster City and Lancaster County. Although the market is open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, the four narrow cobblestone alleys surrounding the market and the abutting public spaces are each day blessed with the footprints of tourists and residents alike. The walkable central four square miles of the city, laid out by Andrew Hamilton, son of our nationís first secretary of the treasury, provides a wealth of Colonial and Victorian architecture in transit supported, connected neighborhoods.

The Lancaster Central Market's historic architecture; pleasant, plain and English stand operators; and variety of traditional and entrepreneurial goods make it one of the leading tourist and resident destinations in the county.

A wide variety of people regularly peruse the plethora of foodstuffs and local crafts offered. Many city residents shop there for their produce. Its quaint aisles encourage close contact, despite the Pennsylvania Dutch reputation for cautious contact in public settings.

The social tenor of the Central Market is one of secure urban comfort and commerce, and county-wide pride and respect. Many people eat lunch and discuss the day's news within and around the market in good weather.

Contact Info:

City of Lancaster: 717-291-4723

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