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Fayetteville Market House To Be Repurposed, Not Relocated

The Market House in downtown Fayetteville isn’t going anywhere.

Thursday night, the Fayetteville city council voted 9-1 to repurpose the historic building instead of removing it.

Voting against repurposing was Councilwoman Courtney Banks-McLaughlin. She wanted more citizen input and also called for a federal investigation into not including that feedback, according to the Fayetteville Observer.

City staff presented five options for repurposing to council members. Those ideas include providing an accurate history of the building, creating art and Black history displays, or creating a marketplace for strictly Black vendors.

The next steps for the city council and staff will be deciding on an option, then looking at the scope and cost of the project.

Removing and relocating the Market House would cost at least $2 million, according to Cliff Isaac, the city's construction management and capital projects director.

The Market House was built in 1838 and is considered by many to be a national landmark. However, it also has a history as a site that was used to sell, trade and auction slaves.

Last May, the building was set on fire during protests in the city following the death of George Floyd – a Black man in Minneapolis, Minn. who died after a police officer jammed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The fire was quickly put out, resulting in just minor damage.

Still, the Market House remains a topic of discussion around race and history. Last July, protesters camped out in front of it for nearly a week, demanding police reform in the city.

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