View Full Version : Moore Market

24-10-2012, 02:27 PM
Moore Market

Moore market stood at the place, where the new tower block having reservation offices of Southern railways Chennai central station, and is also having the suburban terminal of central station.

Moore Market got its name since Lt. Col. Sir George Moore president of Corporation of Madras who opened it in 1900.
Moore Market was originally built to house the hawkers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawkers) in the Broadway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgetown,_Chennai) area of Madras (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madras). Its foundation stone was laid by Sir George Moore, president of the Madras Corporation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madras_Corporation) in 1898. The building was designed in the Indo Saracen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo_Saracenic) style by RE Ellis and was constructed by A. Subramania Aiyar. The market, which consisted of a series of shops around a central quadrangle was finally completed in 1900, and had sections for meat, flowers and food items, but was particularly popular for curios including antiques, art, books and pets. Over the years, it gradually took the status of a flea market where one could buy rare and second hand items for a bargain.
Moore Market was the City Centre of those days, built like a square with an open area in the middle, where you could find absolutely anything you wanted from vegetables to meat, toys, jewellery, books, army uniforms and underclothes! Students and voracious readers were drawn by the mind-boggling collection of second-hand books. I bought some second hand books when I was doing my SSLC in 1956.
But, strangely, you could never find ladies undergarments. In fact, there were no readymade clothes at all. The open market outside Moore Market was just as interesting. You could find fish tanks with exotic fish and birdcages with colorful birds.

Cinema houses such as Midlands, Casino, Sun Theatre, Minerva and New Globe would show American movies. After the show, we would stand up for the National Anthem.
The Indian Railways (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Railway), needing land to expand the congested Chennai Central (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chennai_Central) station, tried unsuccessfully to take over the market. On 30 May 1985, the market building was destroyed due to a fire whose cause remains a mystery.

Source: Various sites

24-10-2012, 06:33 PM
Additional Information on Moore Market:

Sri Padmanaban has given a very good write up on Moore Market, which was one of the beautiful Market Complex in old city of Madras. During my younger days I used to frequent the place with my cousin to buy old/used books, when ever I visited Madras to spend my vacation.Only other place I have seen to have so many secondhand bookstalls was Crawford Market at Mumbai. It was really a matter of regret Moore Market was destroyed by a mysterious fire in 1980. The Moore Market buildings designed in the lines of Indo-Sarcenic architecture by Samuel Joshua Loane, the chief engineer of Corporation. Prior to this there was "Pophams Market" in George town which was erected in 1780 in (Popham's) Broad way, at George Town. This Market survived for nearly a century when it was condemned as unsanitary. And the work began near Central Station for the Moore Market.The place where Popham's market stood was converted into a Park named after Samuel Joshua Loane . Now it is known as Sriramulu Naidu Park,named after a former Mayor of the city.

One the famous markets in Madras was "Kothawal Chavady" . This wholesale market considered Asia's largest vegetable and fruits market was functioning in the property of Sri Kanyaka Parameswari Devastanam till the activities were shifted to Koyambedu Wholesale Market Complex in 1996. I understand there is a College built on the vacant "Kothawal Chavdy" lands.