Today this building is known as El Mercado, the home of the largest Mercado outside of Mexico, but it was originally a farmers' market. It was built as a Works Progress Administration project during 1938-1939 after the existing, nearby municipal market house (known as the Giles building) was torn down.
|Photograph of the Giles Building on display at El Mercado|
The new market was originally named the Municipal Truck Market because it was designed with a wide entry so farmers could drive their truck into the market and sell their produce direct from their truck. However, the market was commonly called the Farmer's Market.
|A photographic exhibit inside the S San Saba Street entrance has a picture of the new Farmer's Market with trucks in front and a small description about the history of the market.|
In 1975 the last produce was sold here and the market house underwent renovation to convert it into the air-conditioned El Mercado. The building was painted turquoise and the interior designed to resemble an authentic Mexican market.
The wide opening on S San Saba Street was closed in and the front of the building slightly re-configured. The surrounding area is revitalized and referred to as Market Square. In addition to the Mercado there are several well-known Mexican food restaurants in Market Square making it a most pleasant place to visit!
There are two markers on the W Commerce Street side of the building. I learned a valuable lesson as I photographed and explored the building: always go on every side of a building. I almost missed these important markers. As I was leaving (thinking there was no marker) I just happened to see the plaques!
El Mercado is located at 514 W Commerce Street in San Antonio, TX