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Dallas Market Center facts for kids

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Dallas Market Center, located in Dallas, Texas (USA), is a 5,000,000 square foot (460,000 m²) wholesale trade center housing showrooms selling consumer products including gifts, lighting, home décor, apparel, fashion accessories, shoes, tabletop/housewares, gourmet, floral, holiday, and more. The marketplace is closed to the public but open to qualified retail buyers and interior designers, manufacturers and industry professionals. Market events throughout the year attract more than 200,000 buyers and sellers from all 50 states and more than 80 countries.

The campus

Dallas WorldTradeCenter
Dallas World Trade Center

The four-building campus includes the World Trade Center, Trade Mart, International Trade Plaza (The Plaza) and Market Hall. Inside these buildings, nearly 2,300 permanent showrooms offer more than 35,000 product lines from manufacturers around the world.

The largest building is the World Trade Center, a 3 million-square-foot (914,400 m²) building standing 15 stories. Inside the World Trade Center are showrooms including gifts, home accessories, lighting, floral, holiday, jewelry, rugs, toys, gourmet foods, furniture, bed, bath and linens.

The two-story International Trade Plaza is the original building at Dallas Market Center.

History

Furniture Mart entry canopy photo
Southwest Homefurnishings Mart c.1957

Dallas Market Center was founded in 1957 by real estate developer Trammell Crow. The first building was the Dallas Homefurnishings Mart, designed by Donald H. Speck. The 434,000-square-foot (40,300 m²) building was reborn in 1999 as the International Floral & Gift Center and is now known as The International Trade Plaza.

The first trade event at Dallas Market Center was held in July 1957 and was attended by 1,850 visitors. Today, the largest markets attract more than 50,000 attendees from all 50 states and 84 countries.

Trade Mart exterior
Dallas Trade Mart c.1958
Trade Mart pergola photo color
Pergola in the Dallas Trade Mart Grand Courtyard c.1958

The Dallas Trade Mart, the second Dallas Market Center building, was designed by Harold Berry and Donald Speck, with Harwell Hamilton Harris and opened its doors in 1958. The project provided 980,000 square feet (91,000 m²) at a cost of $12,640,000.

The Trade Mart was the destination of President John F. Kennedy's motorcade on November 22, 1963 when he was assassinated in Dealey Plaza. He was scheduled to give a speech to 2,600 people at a sold-out luncheon in the Grand Courtyard.

In 1964, English sculptor Elisabeth Frink created the bronze sculpture "The Eagle" which sits outside the main entrance today. It features a William Blake quote and a plaque which reads, "Placed in memorial by the friends of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy who awaited his arrival at the Dallas Trade Mart Nov. 22, 1963."

In 1964, the Apparel Mart opened for business at a cost of $15 million. For four decades, the building served as a trading center for women's, men's and children's apparel and accessories. It closed in 2004. Today, apparel and accessories showrooms reside on the top floors of World Trade Center, and apparel trade events held at Dallas Market Center attract buyers from around the globe.

The World Trade Center, the centerpiece of the campus, opened in 1974 with seven stories but was expanded to feature 15 floors.

Trade events and markets

Dallas Market Center hosts dozens of trade events throughout the year, including nine major markets attracting some 200,000 retail buyers.

The Accessories Resource Team (ART), the trade association for home decorative accessories, partners with Dallas Market Center to sponsor the ARTS Awards gala held each January which recognizes excellence and achievement in retailing, manufacturing, design, and representation.

The Toy Industry Association holds its Fall Toy Preview at Dallas Market Center each fall. This show for mass market retailers is the toy industry's most important preview of products under development for the following year.

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