It is set in the heart of downtown Knoxville Tennessee. Market Square has been a great attraction for locals and tourists since 1854. The public square was originally created to be used as an open-air city market by Daniel Smith, “Chief Justice of the Republic of Texas” in the early 1800s. It later became known as City Market. Knoxville’s first newspaper, the “Knoxville Register”, was published here from 1817 to 1819. It is now a popular spot for festivals and gatherings both large and small throughout the year.
In 1907 a cast-iron pavilion was built on Market Square by prominent local architect L’Hommedieu Huston of Huston & Company. He also designed the Knoxville Post Office, First Presbyterian Church of East Tennessee, and The Parthenon in Centennial Park. The pavilion was built with public donations as a gift to the city from J.W. Cole, who operated a hardware business on Market Square for many years.
With little money available to complete the project, the pavilion remained closed and unused for several years. After many requests from merchants and citizens, however, it was finally opened to public use in 1919. It was not until 1982 that a partial renovation of the market was completed under direction of Knox County Mayor Bill Haslam.
Today Market Square is used as an open-air market with a variety of local merchants selling their wares.