Forced azaleas, forsythias, and bulbs at a flower stand, February 18, 1915, by U.S. Department of Agriculture, via U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.
Center Market was located at 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., where the National Archives building now stands. The red brick German Renaissance Revival structure was built between 1872 and 1878 (replacing an 1801 market). It held over 700 vendors in its halls and courtyard and was possibly the country’s largest market building.
The Market closed in 1931, a victim of the rise of community chain stores and increased availability of canned and frozen foods — as well as the McMillan Commission‘s vision for a white marble, neoclassical center for the capital city.
There are more photos of Center Market here and a more complete history here. Click on any photo above to enlarge it.
Samuel Herman Gottscho worked as a traveling lace and fabric salesman before becoming a commercial photographer at the age of 50. He specialized in architecture, but also regularly contributed to New York Times articles on wildflowers. He was awarded the New York Botanical Garden’s Distinguished Service Medal in 1967 for his photographs of plants.
The Library of Congress holds 29,000 of his images in the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection (William Schleisner was his son-in-law and partner).