Fayetteville City Council votes to repurpose controversial Market House

The controversial Market House in Fayetteville is set to be repurposed following a near-unanimous vote from city council on Thursday.

Video Transcript

MICHAEL LOZANO: Tonight, we spoke to Dawn Adkins-Hurley, she is a chairperson for a local group looking to try to preserve the Market House. She tells me this evening that it's about protecting the history that's both good and bad.

DAWN ADKINS-HURLEY: That was the first Public Library. That was the first health department. It was the first Fayetteville Museum of Art. It was the first USO.

MICHAEL LOZANO: Dawn Adkins-Hurley has been a strong advocate for protecting the Market House since there were calls to tear it down during the George Floyd protests last summer.

DAWN ADKINS-HURLEY: To take the history of a building that is almost 200 years old and to hold it accountable for a very small segment of time, 33 years, out of over 200--

MICHAEL LOZANO: For many, the building stands as a symbol of a time where African-Americans were sold. Local activist Myah Warren wanting to see it be torn down.

MYAH WARREN: I do believe that the Market House should be removed. Not repurposed, not replaced, but removed.

MICHAEL LOZANO: Just a few weeks back, city council narrowing it down to either repurposing or relocating the building. During Monday's city council meeting, Dawn presented a petition with more than 2000 signatures in support of it being left alone.

DAWN ADKINS-HURLEY: If they would broaden where they're looking and who they're listening to they might see a different picture.

MICHAEL LOZANO: Dawn says their mission isn't motivated by race or politics but the desire to preserve this historical landmark. Myah understands, but disagrees that it should continue to stand.

MYAH WARREN: --that this building is a part of our history, that this building offends us, it makes us feel some type of way. So why can't we do what we feel is necessary to let our voices be heard about our particular history and this building?

MICHAEL LOZANO: Dawn understands the outcry but believes the building is more than its dark past, advocating for more education of the wrongs committed.

DAWN ADKINS-HURLEY: And I respect that. I empathize with that. But they need to look at the other histories, too.

MICHAEL LOZANO: Dialogue will continue with city council as they still try to determine the fate of the Market House. In Fayetteville, Michael Lozano, ABC 11 Eyewitness News.