FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Friday was the first time Linda Reynolds visited the Fayetteville Market House in more than two years. The Fayetteville woman brought her cousin along this time.
“When I’m sitting here. I think about my ancestors and what they endured here,” Reynolds said.
The historic site comes with a dark past of being a spot where slaves were sold. It was built in the heart of downtown Fayetteville in 1832 and used as a town hall.
In 2020 it was set on fire amid the George Floyd protests. The Market House was surrounded by fencing until repairs were completed. Thursday after nearly two years the fence came down.
Some people flocked to the site for pictures. Others like Tom Cichon and his son Dalton came to take in the history of the site.
“I would love to see the top be an African American history museum and I think to return it to what it was and have the bottom area here be a farmers market,” Dalton said.
Reynolds said she believes the site has the potential for attracting tourists to Fayetteville.
“I think somehow it needs to be marketed. So, it can become an attraction to people,” she said.
The Fayetteville City Council hasn’t decided on the future of the Market House. Some people including council members have said they want to get rid of it, while others want to keep it.
“It needs to be preserved. So, the next generation understands their history,” Reynolds said.
The Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Commission will collect ideas about the Fayetteville Market House repurposing from taxpayers. This is part of the city’s effort to get as many ideas as possible, before deciding on the future of the site.
The first session will be Thursday starting at noon until 1 p.m. The second session is from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Kiwanis Recreation Center at 352 Devers St.
Attendees are urged to take a survey and register at the city of Fayetteville website.