By Elliot Carter
When Dean & DeLuca moved into their new Georgetown location on M Street in 1993, they joined in a grocery tradition stretching back to the eighteenth century. This Italianate brick market was built in 1865 on top of the foundations of an even earlier 1796 structure - Washington's oldest market.
Washington DC used to have several marketplaces that were built in the same time period and share architectural similarities. Georgetown Market, Western Market, Eastern Market, Central Market and Northern Liberty Market were built after the Civil War to serve the city's large new population.
Like the present day Eastern Market, the Georgetown gathering place was a long brick arcade where private vendors sold an assortment of goods. According to the National Register of Historic Places "Stalls of butchers, fish mongers and dairy farmers requiring refrigeration were located against the interior walls of the market. Butter stalls generally stood in the center. Produce was sold at outside stands."
The National Park Service website has two photos of the building from 1937: