Central Market, Kuala Lumpur began life as a wet market in 1888; built by Yap Ah Loy, the city’s Chinese Kapitan. It served as a prominent landmark in colonial and modern-day Kuala Lumpur. When it was relocated in the 1980s, the Malaysian Heritage Society successfully petitioned against the demolition of the building, and it was subsequently declared a centre for Malaysian arts, culture and handicraft.
Central Market Kuala Lumpur is located at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Foch Avenue) and the pedestrian-only section of Jalan Hang Kasturi (Rodger Street), a few minutes away from Petaling Street. It was founded in 1888 and originally used as a wet market, while the current building was completed in 1937. It has since been classified as a Heritage Site by the Malaysian Heritage Society and it is now a landmark for Malaysian culture and heritage.
The building was built in 1888 by the British who were ruling Malaya at that time and it was used as wet market for Kuala Lumpur citizens and tin miners. Further expansions were made in 1889, 1895, 1920 and 1921. By 1933, the expansions to the warehouse made the market now in its present size and cost around $167,000.
As Kuala Lumpur experienced its own development at a rapid pace in the 1970s, there were plans to demolish the site. The intervention of the Malaysian Heritage Society proved timely as they successfully petitioned against its deconstruction and the site was declared as a 'Heritage Site'.
The Wet Market was very convenient to the early city dwellers because it was within the vicinity of Klang bus stand, the hub of feeder bus service for Kuala Lumpur and the train station.
During construction of Dayabumi near Klang River banks in 1981, the market was saved from demolition. In 1985, the market was renovated into a vibrant and colourful new style, and has been officially known as Pasar Budaya since April 1986.