Here is situated the historic and contemporary urban hub of the City of Harrisburg and the Greater Harrisburg Metropolitan Area. Laid out as the center focus of John Harris, Jr. s' plan in 1785 when Harrisburg was a launching point for Western pioneer excursions and a trading center, Market Square has witnessed ongoing transformations driven by a town on the move. Originally occupying low swampy land, the Square was configured and improved to allow for the erection in 1807 of two central farmers markets to serve frontiersmen and residents alike. During the Civil War, the Square was a focal point of troop movements, rallies and the hustle and bustle of war-time excitement with the market houses being the prime focus of commerce. The houses were removed in 1889 to make way for the better flow of growing 19th Century traffic.