The building located at 3 Pleasant Street was historically referred to as Brick Market, being the namesake of Market Square, located in the heart of downtown Portsmouth New Hampshire.
Originally constructed in 1794 as a one story public market, with a second floor built in 1800 as a town hall. The building burnt down in the 1802 fire and was rebuilt in 1804 with arched openings for 10 merchants’ stalls on the street level and continued as an auditorium for town and public meetings. In 1864 the City of Portsmouth remodeled the Brick Market as a City Hall and renamed the building to “Jefferson Hall”. An observer at the time thought the remodeled building looked like “a donkey with elephantine ears”.
The building continued to be used as City Hall until 1910 when the City of Portsmouth sold the property to The New Hampshire National Bank of Portsmouth for $20,000. At the time of the sale the subject parcel was considered the most valuable piece of property in the City.