Ancient French Market dates its legal birth from September 10, 1784, when the "Authorities of Justice and Administration" decided that all retailers in the city should conduct their businesses on this spot.
In 1791 the first market structure was completed. Destroyed by a hurricane in 1812, it was replaced in 1813 by the building now housing the meat and retail fish markets. Although the interior was modernized in 1936 - 1938, the walls and supporting columns are just as erected in 1815. Other market structures were built at various times between 1813 and 1872.
Millions of feet have trod this bartering spot in centuries of trading, for Indians traded here long before the French came. May yours tread pleasantly here and bring you happiness.
Rehabilitated French Market
Dedicated March 19, 1938
French Market was rehabilitated in 1936-1938 under direction of the French Market Corporation composed of business men of this market neighborhood and by the authority of a franchise granted by the commission council of New Orleans. Financing of the reconstruction was the result of cooperative efforts by the corporation, Public Works Administration of the United States, City of New Orleans, the State of Louisiana, Orleans Levee Board and the business men of this market area.
The architectural integrity of the historic market structures has been retained throughout. The interiors have been modernized to conform to refrigeration and sanitary trends of 1938, but the French Market show-place of New Orleans, the most ancient mart in the Mississippi Valley, remains the same.