In the 1700s, City Market was Savannah’s central marketplace for people to trade, shop for groceries and mingle with other community members. Throughout the years, City Market has withstood incredible tragedies, including two fires, the Civil War and Savannah’s great hurricane of 1860. But as the city’s population grew and commerce began to spread out, the once-bustling market ultimately became a ghost town.
In 1954, the city government approved the demolition of the Old City Market, and a multi-deck parking garage was built on top Ellis Square. Many locals were disappointed in the city’s decision to destroy the structure and decided to take action, kindling Savannah’s preservation movement. A new City Market district was eventually built with the decaying remains of the Old City Market, and the parking garage on Ellis Square was demolished in 2006 and moved underground so that the public space could be restored and transformed into the social hub that it is now.
Today, life, charm and quirk are restored in City Market, and the lively marketplace is now one of Savannah’s most popular spots for restaurants, art galleries, shopping and nightlife. Here are the five things that you need to do while visiting Savannah’s City Market.