Rochester’s Public Market epitomizes what makes a public space great. It is welcoming and open; diverse in people, products, offerings and opportunities. It is a place that inspires civility and civic pride. Most importantly, the market is what it is because of the people who congregate there, be they vendors or customers, out-of-town visitors or local residents.
The market has been a hub of commerce and community in Greater Rochester since it opened at its 280 North Union Street site on June 1, 1905. It is a public marketplace for foods and general merchandise. But it is also a space for community events and gatherings; a place to bond with existing family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors; and a place to make new connections with other members of the community.
The architectural features range from original ground bricks and a vendor shed built in 1930 to a two-year-old new fully enclosed vendor shed, and a new outdoor covered shed that was designed to be a perfect replica of an original 1905 shed. The open-air nature of the market makes it feel and function like a traditional “old world” market.
The market has become such a key piece of the surrounding community that the neighborhood is called Marketview Heights, and the immediate area around the market is known as the Public Market District.
The market’s space is made available to the community year round, specifically via 165 regular market shopping days per year, and another 47 days with free admission special events.
The Public Market is owned and operated by the city of Rochester.