In May 1745, the residents of the southern part of the city petitioned to erect a market house on South Second Street, from Pine to Cedar (South) Street. In a day absent of modern transport, it would be of great labor to bring goods from High Street a mile down into the Southern “suburbs”. The New Market, a name that it would hold up to today, would be an almost exact copy of the markets on High Street. Consisting of a head house (built in 1804) and two separated market sheds behind, they are a more formalized version of the ramshackle structures along High Street.

In the Hexamer Insurance Map Below dating from 1898, one notices a pink coloring inside a yellow box, this indicates that market was originally made as a permanent structure, of which only the north half survives today; the southern half was removed to make way for a parking lot during the Society Hill revitalization project in the late 1950s-middle 1960s. The southern half, according to the watercolor by William Birch in 1799 (c/o Independence National Historic Park and can be accessed at:, indicates it was constructed along with the original market. The Evans watercolor dating from 1870 (c/o Historic Society of  Pennsylvania; call number: 862EV15/.027) shows a vibrant place of commerce, perhaps the market became too crowded and the neighborhood felt the need to construct another market a few block to the southwest along Bainbridge street.

 In 1965, the market was added to the list of preserved sites in Society Hill/Old City. The buildings immediately to the west were converted into modern stores, while to the east wealthy small condos were constructed. The structure today is a token to the history of the neighborhood and Philadelphian market history; it acts as a venue for small arts and crafts shows along with outdoor community events and food parties.

The New Market in South ground as painted by William Birch in 1799. You notice a break in the sheds in the middle right side, indicating that the two structures seen in the Haxamer map below were constructed closer to the market's opening in 1745.