El Mercado/Farmer’s Market – San Antonio TX


Today this building is known as El Mercado, the home of the largest Mercado outside of Mexico. It was built as a WPA project during 1938-1939 after the existing municipal market house (known as the Giles building) was torn down. 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. 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.

Source notes

There is a marker on the W Commerce Street side of the building.  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 addition there is a picture from the San Antonio Light newspaper(published sometime in 1938) that shows the Farmer's Market nearing completion with the WPA sign in front. The caption states that WPA workers are putting the finishing touches on the building.  

Project originally submitted by Elizabeth Hilburn on November 23, 2013.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

514 W Commerce St
San Antonio, Texas 78207

Coordinates: 29.425334, -98.498559

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