Public Market - Well Over a Century of Service


Well Over a Century of Service


The same colorful cornucopia of goods and people that overwhelm visitors today also greeted the first market goers in 1827 when the village of Rochester only had a few thousand residents and the municipal market was built partially over the Genesee River at the west end of the Main Street bridge. Later this unique resource was replaced by Centre Market, Rochester's first major civic undertaking, built on the river's east side between the Andrews Street bridge and the site of the present Sister Cities pedestrian bridge. Since 1905, the Market has been at its current site, 280 North Union Street, less than a mile from downtown.

While the Market is firmly focused on the present and future, its illustrious history and iconic status today in the community also inspires historic preservation--because the historic elements of the Market are key to making it so memorable for regulars and first-timers alike! For example-- a 1902 granite horse fountain exactly like the one at the Market from 1905 through 1930s was purchased by the City in 2018 and is now the centerpiece of a fabulous courtyard outside the Market office

Market-Merch-book2For a comprehensive history of the Market, check out The Hands That Feed Us: 100 Years at the Rochester Public Market. Published to commemorate the Market's centennial in 2005, this beautiful book is on sale at the Market Token Center during regular Market days and hours (the white boxcar-like building right behind the Market Office, the two story brick house).

Consider taking a Market Tour to learn more about the Market's fascinating history! For tour information, contact the Friends of the Market at (585) 428-7292 or  

Below: Colorful Market vendor license plates required from the 1930s through the 1950s  

blue-plate  red-plate  yellow-plate       

Return to the main Market page