In the 1870's the city fathers of Port Elizabeth could not postpone the erection of a market building, especially for the sale of ostrich feathers and produce, anymore. A building was commissioned in 1878 when a competition was run for the best design for the building. While the roof was being built in England the council realised that the cost of the building was going to be a lot more than initially thought and the plans were scrapped. However there was the matter of the roof and a new architect was appointed to design a building that would fit the budget... and the roof, which by now had left England on board a ship already. The Feather Market Hall was completed in 1885 and was officially opened in December of that year with the opening of the South African exhibition which lasted a month and was visited by 60 000 people.