Spotlight on the Union Market Historic District

Nowadays, the Union Market Historic District is known throughout the D.C. area as an up-and-coming neighborhood where you can find a collection of mixed residential and retail spaces. In the months to come, more development projects will flow into the neighborhood, making Union Market’s gentrification process complete.

Let’s travel back in time and unravel the origins of the Union Market Historic District, and what makes it truly one of the D.C. area’s local gems.

It all started approximately 145 years ago

Before the Union Market Historic District, there was Centre Market, known as the largest market in Washington D.C. Opened to the public in 1871, Centre Market served as a crossroads due to its location — right between the Capitol Building and the White House, just a stone’s throw away from a railroad station and several streetcar lines. By the turn of the century, Centre Market was the commercial heart of Washington D.C.

Centre Market was torn down in 1931 to give way for the National Archives, but its memory lived on. Many of the businesses once part of the market set up shop in another venue they named Union Terminal Market.

It was the best place to buy meat, fish, dairy, and produce back then. A policy banning the outdoor sale of meats and eggs, however, turned the market upside down. In its place, a new indoor market was built, the building we now know today as the Union Market.

From the 80s up to the present, Union Market has continued to flourish. According to developer EDENS, it’s a place where local businesses thrive, a melting pot full of character and opportunities. Its history, culture, and relevance to Washington D.C.’s history makes it a district to watch out for.

What you can find in Union Market Historic District

  • The market itself, open Tuesdays to Sundays.
  • No Kings Collective + Lab 1270 – A commune for artists; regularly hosts flash art exhibitions and the like to provide an artistic space for local artists and city organizations.
  • Restaurants like Dolcezza, Cotton & Reed, Masseria, and Tap + Garden.
  • Maurice Electrical Work Space – Planned for both residential, retail, and office uses.
  • Angelika Pop-Up – A multi-screen cinema where you can enjoy specialty film programming and events.
  • Dock 5 – A warehouse with over 12,000 square feet of event space located right above Union Market.

For more details about Union Market Historic District, check out its official website:


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