The Market House was built in 1832 on the site of the old State House, which was destroyed by fire in 1831. It was within the walls of the State House that North Carolina had ratified the Constitution of the United States in 1789 and chartered the University of North Carolina. Also here North Carolina ceded her western lands to form the state of Tennessee.
The focal point of downtown Fayetteville, the Market House sits in the center of the intersection of Green, Gillespie, Person, and Hay Streets. For decades meat and produce were sold beneath its arches by local farmers, while the second floor was the town hall. In recent years the second floor has been used as a public library, chamber of commerce offices, and an art museum. Many distinguished visitors have spoken from its balconies.
Architecturally unique in North Carolina, the Market House is one of the few structures in America to use this town hall-market scheme found in England. The clock chimes the hours and the bell in the cupola still rings at 7:30 AM for breakfast, at 1:00 PM for dinner, at sundown, and at 9:00 PM, once the curfew hour.