One of Charleston's most popular landmarks has undergone a renovation. This is big news since Charleston's open-air market is the oldest, most frequently visited and recognizable sites. The Historic Charleston Market has long been home to a wide variety of both permanent and revolving or seasonal retailers in booths as well as storefront vendors who sell craft offerings, hand woven baskets, foodstuffs, jewelry, silver, pottery, leather goods, clothing, photography, artwork and all varieties of notions and novelties.
The eclectic, revolving and evolving wares that can be found at The Charleston City Market create a fun and exciting shopping atmosphere that keeps both visitors and natives returning to peruse the new items every few months or so.
Why the change, you might ask, since this is a must see for tourists and visitors alike? Why would one change a good thing? Well, the news is that Charleston's harbor has become a launching point and visiting spot for Carnival and Celebrity Cruise Lines, two major players in the industry orchestrating tours to the Western and Southern Caribbean. These cruises will create an influx of tens of thousands of additional visitors to the city each year and to the French Quarter in particular, where the market is located. And it's not exactly change, but rather improvements and updating.
One of Charleston's foremost hoteliers, Hank Holiday, owner and operator of the Planter's Inn, located right on the corner of Meeting and North Market Streets across from the Charleston Market, recognized the boon to the local economy in tours, restaurants, galleries and tourism shopping these cruises represent to Charleston. He had the foresight to see the needed changes in order for the Market to be able to accommodate all the additional traffic. But also a man of vision, Mr. Holiday understands the necessity and importance in preserving the historical integrity of the old style market.
Hank Holiday's representative and Corporate Director, Carolyn Stout says the Charleston Market will undergo much-needed repairs and renovations to the roof, flooring and masonry as well as new and more permanent construction to the booths. Along with the updating, the market's cosmetic appearance will be improved with fresh paint and signage.
With the refreshed look of the City Market, some new faces and wares can be expected as well. Certainly our old favorite merchants and crafters will be returning to the market but with additional plans and an eye toward expanding the market nearer to the waterfront, with plans reminiscent of the waterfront sites in St. Augustine or San Francisco, management will certainly be on the lookout for fresh and unique products and crafters to keep the market a novel and exciting destination for quality merchandise at affordable prices.
This $5 million renovation is planned to begin after the holiday season in January of 2010 and is expected to be efficiently complete by April of the same year, just in time for the return of sultry southern winds to blow in with an infusion of exotic seafaring visitors.
Vendors are open for business every day from the early morning hours until 6pm, and are open later on the weekends. Convenient and inexpensive parking is located nearby, see the attached parking garage map.
Take a leisurely carriage ride down Charleston's main drags and back streets. Learn about Charleston's history and culture as you soak in the historic architecture and tranquil gardens. Carriage tours start and end right in the Market area.
The historic Charleston City Market is a must see for visitors to Charleston, SC. It is a place to start your visit and a perfect meeting spot while in town. Celebrate Charleston's contributions to art, history and culture, from the 17th century to the modern day. Visit the Charleston city market website for more information about the vendors and wares.