42. 3276 M Street

3276 M Street, NW
Photo by Bob Rives

Dean & Deluca

In 1776 the Maryland Assembly passed the Georgetown lottery act that legislated for Georgetown to conduct a lottery to raise funds for the market building and an award for the lottery winner. With these funds, the old Georgetown Market opened its doors in 1802. Its location near the waterfront provided a prime location for ferries traveling from Maryland and Virginia to dock. At its peak during the early 1800s, Georgetown was a shipping river and canal port where many ships sailed up and unloaded goods, such as cotton, from across the country. Sugar, grain, and tobacco came from Virginia and fruit from further south. Everyday day hundreds of wagons lined up to unload and carried the goods to the Georgetown Market. There were tunnels, now enclosed, which led from the C&O Canal, through the sewage system, ending in the market’s basement. The basement ran the entire length of the building with small rooms leading to much larger rooms and eventually a slave auction block. The enslaved Africans’ journey to the Georgetown Market began in Gambia, Senegal, Nigeria, and other African homelands. The auction block, now covered with rock and dirt, is a reminder of America’s and the Georgetown Market’s sordid past

After the original market closed in 1935, its owner donated the property and building to the District of Columbia with the stipulation that it would always serve as a marketplace. A lawsuit cleared the title and the building remains a market today as Dean and Deluca.