May 15, 2008 New Library Publication Features Architecture of Public Markets

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

The activity of buying and selling food and other commodities has shaped towns and cities for centuries. At the heart of this exchange stand public markets—the buildings and spaces where marketing has taken place dating back to antiquity. Public markets persist today as the most enduring form of global, urban food exchange, with a strong sense of tradition continuing to inform their architecture and design. Published by the Library of Congress and W.W. Norton & Company, “Public Markets” by Helen Tangires is a richly illustrated compendium of the wide variety of architectural structures devoted to the urban marketplace. Designers, urban planners and those intrigued by the intersection of history, commerce and architecture will find “Public Markets” to be a singular resource on the subject. Drawn from the Library’s unparalleled collections, more than 800 historical and contemporary photographs, architectural drawings, maps, and posters from around the world depict the many types of public markets: open-air, street, enclosed market houses, central markets and wholesale terminal markets. Examples are organized in sections that define the form and function of these principal market types. “Public Markets” is the sixth volume in the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks in Architecture Design and Engineering series and the first to be international in scope. The series is a project of the Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering in the Library of Congress, directed by C. Ford Peatross. “Public Markets” joins “Barns” by John Vlach, “Canals” by Robert Kapsch, “Theaters” by Craig Morrison, “Lighthouses” by Sara E. Wermiel and “Bridges” by Richard L. Cleary. Helen Tangires is the administrator of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She is the author of “Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America” (2003) and is a frequent contributor to books and journals. She holds a Ph.D in American Studies from the George Washington University. Established by a bequest from the distinguished American architect Paul Rudolph, the Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering in the Library of Congress preserves and makes accessible to the public the Library’s rich collections in those subject areas. For more information, go to “Public Markets,” a 336-page hardcover book with 850 images, is available for $75 in bookstores nationwide and through the Library’s Sales Shop, Washington, D.C. 20540-4985. An accompanying CD-ROM contains high-quality downloadable TIFF files of all the illustrations and direct links to the library’s online, searchable catalogs and image files. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557. Online orders can be placed at


PR 08-094
ISSN 0731-3527