Centre Market seems to be one of the bright spots in Wheeling’s efforts to revitalize its older neighborhoods. The market itself and the surrounding neighborhood are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Centre Market Square Historic District,” though the market itself also has its own NRHP designation.
The market is made up of two distinct sections – one older and one “newer.” The earliest section, built in 1853, is believed to be the oldest still-standing iron market house in the country. This neo-classical section is now enclosed and painted white and green and has its original belfry. The second section, further south and made of brick in a neo-Romanesque style, was built in 1890 for primary use as a fish market. The building’s original use lives on through Coleman’s Fish Market. A more detailed description of the building’s past is available here, on the NRHP application from the 1970s (This link from the Ohio County Public Library has much of the same information on the application, but a bit easier-to-read format).
Today, the entire building remains open to the public as an open market, with a handful of restaurants, shops and an art gallery. In addition, the streets on the east and west of the building (both of which are Market Street, one southbound and one northbound) currently host a number of more shops and restaurants, thereby creating a small shopping district within historic buildings. The buildings are owned by the City of Wheeling.
While in some ways the market serves a notably different purpose as an attraction today than it did 100 years ago as a necessary supply destination, its purpose still lives on as an important asset to Wheeling’s commerce.
Each of the businesses in the actual Centre Market and the surrounding neighborhood has its own hours, though there are businesses open every day of the week. Parking is available along Market Street and nearby streets.
To get to Centre Market from U.S. 40, follow Main Street south to 22nd Street, then turn left. The Market is on the right. From I-470, take Exit 1, turn left at the end of the ramp, left on 26th Street to Main Street and then turn right (north) on Main Street to 22nd Street.