The WEST SIDE MARKET, Cleveland's oldest publicly owned market, began in 1840 when JOSIAH BARBER and RICHARD LORD gave OHIO CITY a tract of land at the corner of Pearl (W. 25th) and Lorain streets with the stipulation that it always be kept as a public market site. Additional gifts of land enabled the marketplace to expand, and in 1868 the wooden, 1-story Pearl St. Market was erected on the site. As the city's population increased, the markethouse became inadequate. In 1902 the city purchased a site for a new market across the street from the old one. A new $680,000 markethouse designed by the firm of HUBBELL AND BENES was dedicated in 1912—a massive yellow-brick building with an interior concourse providing room for 100 stalls, an outdoor arcade with 85 stands, and a large clock tower.
The West Side Market Tenant's Assn., formed in 1915, was instrumental in implementing markethouse improvements, including a $1.1 million modernization program in 1953 and a $5 million renovation project in the late 1970s. The historical and architectural significance of the building was recognized when it was designated a Natl. Historic Landmark in 1973. The market was always a favorite stopping place for political campaigners, and during the 1980s its annual food festivals were a popular event. In 1988 budgetary concerns forced the city to reduce its subsidy to the market and the tenants' rents were raised to pay for the upkeep. In the early 1990s, numerous maintenance projects, upkeep, and repairs were begun to improve the facilities, including a $97,000 effort in 1992 aimed at correcting violations of building and sanitary codes. In 1995 the West Side Market continued to be an attractive spot for both local and out-of-town shoppers.
Cleveland Landmarks Commission. West Side Market (1973).
Kyle, Phyllis Richard. "Ohio City, West Side Market, the Near West Side, and Shakespeare in Early Cleveland," (WRHS, 1971).
Lewis, Joanne M. To Market, To Market (1981).