Crawford Market was established in 1869, by Cowasji Jehangir (an important member of the Parsi-Zoroastrian community in independent India), who apparently donated the place to the city of Mumbai.
The place was named after Arthur Crawford who was the first Municipal Commissioner of the city of Mumbai (then Bombay). It had been the main wholesale market for fruits and vegetables in Bombay until 1996, after which wholesale traders relocated to the newly formed “Navi Mumbai” part of the city, and the place was occupied by sellers dealing with other food items.
Since then, it has been known as a hub for products ranging from spices, condiments, imported food items and so on.
The Crawford market street was originally designed by a British architect called William Emerson. The style used in the architecture of the main building in the market was Victorian Gothic architecture (like various other buildings of that time in Mumbai). The whole market covers a total area of about 22,471 sq. m (2,41,877 sq. ft), of which 5,515 sq. m (59,363 sq. ft) is occupied by this main building.
The market consists of a 15 m high skylight awning, which helps throw light on the marketplace area. The main market building was constructed using coarse Kurla stone (Redstone).
The Crawford market is situated opposite the Police headquarters building in Mumbai, which is located to the north of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (the biggest and main railway terminal of Mumbai city), just around 1.5 km (0.93 miles) away. This railway terminal is well connected to various cities within India through regular trains, and from the terminal, Crawford market can be reached within 10 minutes.