Side A: Ohio’s oldest surviving municipal market house, Findlay Market was designed under the direction of City Civil Engineer Alfred West Gilbert (1816-1900). It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The structure was among the first market houses in the United States to use iron frame construction technology. Originally an open pavilion, much of the market was erected in 1852, but disputes with contractors delayed its opening until 1855. The center masonry tower was built in 1902. Soon after, public health concerns prompted enclosure of the market stalls and the addition of plumbing and refrigeration. Until then, vendors found cool storage in deep cellars beneath nearby breweries. The tower bell was brought from Cincinnati’s Pearl Street Market in 1934. Findlay Market was renovated in 1973-74 and again in 2002-03.
Side B: James Findlay, early settler, civic leader, entrepreneur, and namesake of Findlay, Ohio, opened a log store near the Ohio River in 1793 and prospered despite Native American attacks. He helped establish a public library in 1802, was Mayor of Cincinnati in 1805 and 1810, commanded a regiment during the War of 1812, became a Major General in the Ohio Militia, and was elected to the U.S. Congress. With profits from his successful mercantile business, Findlay purchased considerable acreage in the forested Northern Liberties, an area known as Findlay’s Woods. In 1833 he recorded a town plat showing Findlay, Green, Race, and Elm streets as they are today and designating an open area for a market. The Findlay estate later donated the market space to the city for establishment of a municipal market named for and maintained as a memorial to General Findlay.