Fayetteville mayor, Cumberland County sheriff weigh in on future of city’s Market House

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – We are hearing more input from city and county leaders about what should happen with the Fayetteville Market House.

Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright says it should go, with the council’s approval, but not by illegally destroying property.

Wright released a statement saying, “As a leader in this community, the All-American City, why would we want to be known for a building that was used to sell other human beings?”

Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin says he want to hear more public input before sharing his opinion, but he is trying to get the city to remove all affiliation with the Market House.

This would include things like the Market House symbol showing up on city paperwork, and even trash bins.

We asked Colvin if he thinks the Market House will come down.

“It’s hard to say,” Colvin said. “I don’t know where we will end with that discussion.”

An online petition with more than 100,000 signatures is calling for the removal of the building.

Faith leaders and community members came to Fayetteville City Hall Monday night to voice their support for removing the Market House.

Others said it’s part of Fayetteville’s history and they do not want it to be taken down.

“It’s whatever the community comes up with,” Colvin said. “My job over the next few weeks is to force the conversation to take place, that’s what we have missed before.”

“It’s easy for leadership to avoid talking about it so that you don’t have to do anything about it,” said Colvin.

The Market House was built in the 1830s.

It’s the only National Historic Landmark in the county.

CBS 17 asked Colvin if making changes to it would be difficult because it’s on that list.

“From my understanding, the registration on the national historic site never takes away your rights to do what you want to with the property, so I think at the end of the day city council can make whatever decision it chooses.”

Colvin said he is working to bridge the gap and hear what ideas and opinions community members have on the issue.

“You have a population who believes in the historical significance of it, so somewhere in between there I hope that we find common ground,” Colvin said. “I think that having it as is in the middle of our commerce, in the middle of our business district, is not the appropriate use of it or location possibly.”

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